Samsung sues Chinese rival over alleged patent violation on iPhone displays

By Reuters   July 3, 2023 | 05:10 pm PT
Samsung sues Chinese rival over alleged patent violation on iPhone displays
The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, April 4, 2016. Photo by Reuters
South Korea's Samsung Display has filed a lawsuit against BOE Technology, accusing the Chinese rival of infringing five of its patents for displays used in mobile devices including Apple's iPhone 12.

Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics, asked a federal jury in Texas to award damages for the infringement of patents regarding organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays supplied by BOE. Samsung also seeks an injunction from the court to halt the import and sale of the affected displays.

The case was filed on Wednesday with the U.S. court in East Texas, which has a reputation for quicker hearings and decisions on cases.

Apple has been using OLED displays on some of its Apple Watch and iPhone models, including the latest iPhone 14. Apple says OLED delivers high resolution and allows for a thinner display than a traditional display.

The OLED display market is dominated by Samsung Display, with BOE narrowing the gap, overtaking South Korea's LG Display as the No. 2 player last year, according to market researcher Omdia.

"Samsung Display has suffered, and will continue to suffer, irreparable harm as a result of Defendants’ infringement of the '599 Patent' for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless Defendants’ infringement is enjoined by this Court," the lawsuit says, referring to the 599 patent, which improves the image quality of a device.

In December, Samsung Display filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging patent infringement by numerous companies selling OLED screens as replacement displays for mobile devices, triggering an investigation by the agency.

Samsung and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Samsung Display executive Choi Kwon-young said in January last year that the company was actively seeking ways to receive compensation for its intellectual property, in a response to an analyst question about rising competition in the mobile OLED screen market.

South Korea is a manufacturing powerhouse for items ranging from chips and displays to automobiles, but South Korean companies have been facing a growing threat from rivals in China.

Last month, a former executive at Samsung Electronics was indicted on suspicion of stealing company technology for a copycat chip factory in China and jeopardizing national economic security, prosecutors said.

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