Samsung copied OLED patents, says LG Display

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Samsung copied OLED patents, says LG Display

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LG Display, the world’s No. 2 maker of liquid crystal displays, said yesterday that it has lodged a complaint with the Seoul Central District Court against archrival Samsung Electronics for allegedly infringing upon seven local patents on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies.

LG Display claimed five products of Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker, including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2 smartphones, the Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Tab 7.7, violated its patents.

The patents cover LG’s OLED panel design, OLED driver circuitry and OLED device design, it said. The company is asking for 7 billion won ($6.3 million) in damages.

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“The company filed a lawsuit to protect its indigenous technologies it developed by pouring in an enormous amount of money and time,” Lee Bang-su, a senior executive at LG Display, said at a press conference yesterday. “The 7 billion won the company seeks for damages is just a symbolic amount, and we could file additional damage suits depending on the result of a court ruling.”

Another executive at LG Display called on Samsung to immediately stop manufacturing and selling products illegally using its technologies.

“We will also strategically consider whether we will file an injunction with a local court to request a ban on the sale of [Samsung products],” the employee said.

Samsung Electronics, which is already waging a global patent war with iPhone maker Apple, said it will fight back.

“We may take legal action [against LG Display] if we find it necessary after we thoroughly scrutinize issues raised by LG Display,” Samsung said in a statement. “We own 5,000 patents on OLED technologies in Korea and 1,900 patents in the United States, and LG Display holds 800 related patents in Korea and 600 patents in the U.S.”

Samsung Electronics also said it controls 98 percent of the global market share for OLED technologies.

“LG Display’s lawsuit is a desperate measure to escape its negative image for systematically stealing Samsung OLED technologies,” said an executive at Samsung Display.

LG Display’s surprise litigation comes shortly after Samsung Display, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, filed an injunction against LG Display on Sept. 5 over an alleged tech theft, seeking 1 billion won in compensation.

In documents submitted to the Seoul Central District Court, Samsung Display claimed LG Display allegedly stole 18 confidential technologies for its OLED screens and 21 other relevant details.

In response to Samsung’s statement yesterday afternoon, LG Display argued that Samsung’s statistics about OLED patents are from an unattributed source.

It urged Samsung to stop distorting the essence of the lawsuit and stop reacting emotionally to the issue.

“LG Display will calmly handle the lawsuit based on its valuable technology and the truth,” read a statement released by the company.

Macquarie Securities said in a report this week that LG Display is enjoying stronger orders from the iPhone manufacturer after Apple sharply reduced new panel supplies from Samsung Electronics.

A California jury ruled on Aug. 24 that Samsung infringed on six of seven Apple patents, awarding Apple $1.05 billion in damages.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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