LG may be forced to halt LCD sales

By on May 3, 2010, 10:30 AM
AU Optronics, a Taiwanese LCD panel manufacturer, is seeking a court injunction to ban the sale of LCD panels by LG Display. This sounds like bad news for the second largest LCD panel maker in the world, but do keep in mind the official source is a press release by AUO, so it may be prudent to wait for LG to respond before drawing any final conclusions.

On December 2006, LG Display sued AUO for $690,000,000 USD for violating its patents. Since that time, AUO, the third largest maker of LCDs, fired back with their very own intellectual property claims. LG was counter-sued for infringing four AU Optronics patents related to the materials and processes used in manufacturing display panels. On February 16th, AUO won that counter claim. In the press release, the company claims it has acted to seek an injunction which will halt LG’s worldwide LCD sales, pending judicial approval.

LG produces about one quarter of all LCD panels sold worldwide. The implications of their display subsidiary being even temporarily ‘shutdown’ are serious, but there is no word on exactly what portion of their business could be affected. Although actual LG-branded displays may not make up 25% of the market, companies like HP, Dell, Asustek and Apple depend on LG Display to supply many of their screens. This could no doubt have far-reaching effects on laptops, tablets, desktop displays, televisions, phones and more amid very high demand.

Update: LG Display has said it would take action on AU's moves once a U.S. court made a final ruling on the two firms' patent dispute. More here.

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