First Apple, Then Samsung, Now: LG Display
2012 has proven to be the year of lawsuits for the world of technology – first Apple, then Samsung, and now LG Display. On Wednesday, September 26, 2012, LG Display Company filed a law suit against Samsung Electronics Company claiming they infringed its patents related to organic light- emitting diode (OLED) technology. Almost two months ago, Apple won over $1 billion dollars in its law suit with Samsung. Apple filed suit against Samsung after many of their technology items too closely resembled Apple’s products. And now – LG Display is following suit.
LG Display is the world’s largest LCD panel maker, just ahead of Samsung Electronics. Together, the two South Korean companies exceed 50% of the global LCD panel market. Seoul- based LG Display alleges that Samsung products, including the Galaxy S3 smartphone and Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet device, infringe LG’s patents. LG, in a suit filed with Seoul Central District Court, asked Samsung to stop violating its patents and sought monetary damages.
Samsung plans to file a countersuit if necessary, claiming the lawsuit is little more than a scheme by LG to overcome their own difficulties following its “systematic leak of Samsung’s OLED technologies.” In July, Samsung accused six LG Display employees, including two who used to work for Samsung, and five others of stealing OLED technology from it. While LG has publicly denied that the company or any of its employees were involved in the theft, Samsung maintains that the firm “systematically stole its display technology and poached Samsung employees.”
The two companies are each other’s biggest rivals in the race toward dominance in the display market. LG Display and Samsung are both vying for thinner and lighter OLED technology. OLED technology first emerged in car radios in the 1990s, but has since improved and is now used in cell phones, tablet computers, and televisions. In a generation controlled by cell phones and computers, having an edge in OLED technology is important for both companies. Samsung believes this law suit is just a scheme by LG, while LG filed the suit to protect their intellectual property rights and promote fair competition.
Samsung lawyers have had their hands full with Apple as of late and it appears their workload isn’t going to lighten up anytime soon. LG and Samsung are in for a lengthy legal battle.