Bloomberg News

AU Optronics Sues Samsung, AT&T Over LCD Patent Infringement

June 28, 2011

(Updates with AU’s trade complaint in seventh paragraph.)

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- AU Optronics Corp., Taiwan’s second- largest maker of liquid-crystal display panels, sued Samsung Electronics Co. and AT&T Inc., claiming they infringed some of its liquid-crystal display patents.

“AUO has been damaged” by Samsung’s and AT&T’s alleged infringements on flat-panel displays used in TVs and cell phones, lawyers for the company said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The allegation comes almost a month after Samsung, the world’s largest flat-screen panel maker, sued AUO in federal courts in Delaware and California, alleging infringement on some of its display patents.

Samsung also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over the alleged misuse of its technology. In the trade-commission complaint, Samsung seeks an order prohibiting the import and sale of the LCD products used in televisions and computer monitors.

Samsung will “actively” try to protect its patents and customers against “groundless patent-infringement claims,” the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in an e-mailed statement responding to the AUO suit.

Mark Siegel, a spokesman for Dallas-based AT&T, the second- largest U.S. wireless carrier, declined to comment on the AU lawsuit.

AU’s Trade Complaint

AU also filed a trade-commission complaint over the display technology. The trade agency has the power to block imports of products found to infringe U.S. patents. If the commission agrees to investigate Samsung’s and AU’s complaints, their patent-infringement suits will be put on hold. The agency typically completes its reviews in 15 to 18 months.

Samsung fell 0.4 percent to 832,000 won at 3 p.m. close of trading in Seoul, matching the decline in the benchmark Kospi index. AUO dropped 0.3 percent to NT$19.35 at the 1:30 p.m. close of trading in Taipei.

Samsung received the second-largest number of patents in the U.S. last year behind International Business Machines Corp., IFI Claims Patent Services, a Wilmington, Delaware-based research company, said in January.

The case is AU Optronics Corp. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-00568, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

--With assistance from Susan Decker in Washington, Jun Yang in Seoul and Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware. Editors: Glenn Holdcraft, Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware, at jfeeley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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