September 27, 2012
LG And Samsung Fight About OLEDs, Televisions And Refrigerators
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe OnlineWall Street Journal, LG claims Samsung is infringing on patents concerning the design of their OLED panels as well as the driver circuitry behind these panels and the overall design of these screens. LG has said they´ll be seeking damages as restitution for this alleged infringement, throwing in a permanent injunction in Korea for good measure. There are some familiar players in this new Asian patent battle, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, the larger-than-life Galaxy Note “Phablet” and the new best seller, the Galaxy S III.
These OLED screens are the popular choice among Android smartphones and tablets, and both companies offer devices with this type of display. At present, the two companies are in competition to bring the first 55-inch OLED TV to market by the end of the year.
"This lawsuit has been filed both to enforce LG Display's intellectual property rights and promote fair competition," said LG in a statement.
Samsung, on the other hand, doesn´t seem all that worried about this threat from this smaller company, saying they have more OLED-related patents than LG and will only consider legal action “if it´s needed.”
Samsung is reported to have an enormous 99% hold on the world´s OLED market.
According to Samsung, LG´s latest action is merely in retaliation of a recent injunction the Galaxy maker filed against them regarding OLED technology. Samsung claims that LG not only stole their patents in order to make themselves more competitively viable in the OLED market, but they also shared some of the “confidential intellectual properties” with the rest of the world.
The Samsung legal team has submitted documents to the Seoul Central District Court covering 18 confidential technologies involved in these OLED screens. Their claim, according to Electronista, is that LG has been actively pursuing ex-Samsung employees in attempts to garner some information about the ways these screens operate, how they´re manufactured and any other business secrets they can coax from these employees.
According to Electronista, 11 current and former Samsung employees – including several senior engineers – had been indicted for leaking this information to LG this summer. Samsung asked LG to formally apologize for their actions, but LG denied any wrongdoing and vowed to sue for defamation if Samsung continued their allegations.
It´s understandable why Samsung would want to protect these technologies, as they´ve invested nearly $886 million into R&D for this OLED technology.
LG, of course, claims their OLED screens work on their own technology and “under a totally different display system” than Samsung´s. Furthermore, LG says anything they learned from any Samsung employee was common knowledge which was “widely known in the industry.”
Elsewhere in LG v. Samsung fun, the former has sued the latter over refrigerator ads, saying Samsung makes false claims about their products. According to LG, these ads have damaged their brand awareness, raising false claims about the capacity of their chillers.
LG claimed they had built the world´s largest refrigerator at 910liters, while Samsung claims LG is exaggerating, and their 900-liter is, in fact, the largest.
"This fight is really silly. Samsung is always obsessed with `World´s No. 1.´ The LG fridge is enough to make some scratches for Samsung pride,´´ said an unnamed Samsung executive, speaking with the Korea Times.