Panel makers at war over OLED leak

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Panel makers at war over OLED leak

Samsung Mobile Display, an affiliate of technology giant Samsung Electronics, filed an injunction against its rival LG Display over an alleged tech leak, sources said yesterday.

Samsung recently submitted to the Seoul Central District Court documents about 18 confidential technologies for its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens and 21 other relevant details. It demanded 1 billion won ($880,514) from LG Display in compensation for every time it used the cited technologies, according to the sources.

OLED panels, which feature slimmer and more vivid screens than common LCD screens, are much sought after by tech companies.

In July, 11 people, including former or current researchers at Samsung Mobile, were indicted on charges of leaking core display technology from Samsung to LG, prompting Samsung to urge its rival to formally apologize and take necessary actions to remedy the situation.

“LG Display has consistently acquired our OLED technologies and other business secrets by inducing our researchers to transfer,” a Samsung official said.

“Over the past 10 years, we have invested over 1 trillion won in the field. Thanks to our efforts, we now hold exclusive technology that allows us to claim nearly 99 percent of the world’s OLED market,” he added.

LG said the injunction is a “legally meaningless” move aimed at hurting its reputation.

“LG Display’s WRGB OLED technology works in a totally different way. Therefore, LG Display has no reason to deliberately attempt to leak the technology and the injunction is meaningless,” the company said in a statement, pledging to take action if Samsung continues to raise issues regarding a technology leak.

LG said Samsung is trying to take advantage of the attention being paid to its OLED TVs that recently went missing. Samsung said Tuesday that two 55-inch OLED TVs which were scheduled to be displayed at the ongoing IFA trade fair in Germany have disappeared, raising speculation about industrial espionage.

When Samsung raised its initial complaint in July, LG Display refuted the allegation and announced that it would sue Samsung for defamation, saying it does not need Samsung’s technology “which works under a totally different display system.”

A trial over the technology leak case is pending at a district court in Suwon.


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