Sharp Corporation filed a lawsuit on August 6, 2007 alleging infringements of five of its patents on LCD-related technology by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Samsung) and its US subsidiaries Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) and Samsung Telecommunications America (STA). The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
The complaint alleges that the following products infringe LCD-related patents that are owned by Sharp: liquid crystal display (LCD) modules manufactured by Samsung and sold in the US by Samsung; LCD TVs and LCD monitors which incorporate the LCD modules manufactured by Samsung and are sold in the US by SEA; and mobile phones which incorporate the LCD modules manufactured by Samsung and are sold in the US by STA. In the complaint, Sharp requests that the Court award compensatory damages to Sharp and prohibit the sales of the infringing products. Sharp also requests a jury trial.
The five patents involved with the lawsuit are US Patent Numbers 4,649,383, 5,760,855, 6,052,162, 7,027,024 and 7,057,689, all of which relate to LCD modules.
According to the company, Sharp began research and development in liquid crystal technology in 1970 and produced the world’s first application of LCDs in calculators in 1973. Since then, Sharp has made continuous and considerable efforts in research and development of liquid crystal technology.
Sharp introduced the AQUOS LCD TV in 2001. The company started manufacturing large-size LCD televisions in 2004 at its Kameyama Plant in Japan, an integrated LCD TV production facility, incorporating all aspects of the production process from manufacture of LCD modules to final assembly of LCD TVs.
Sharp holds numerous LCD-related patents in Japan, the United States and other countries as a result of its extensive research efforts, and licenses its patents for general LCD technologies to LCD panel manufacturers.
Sharp says it has negotiated in good faith with Samsung for an LCD patent license since 2006, but has regrettably been unable to resolve this matter through negotiations. As a result, the company was compelled to file the current lawsuit to protect its intellectual property.
Five US Patents Owned by Sharp Corporation Involved in the Lawsuit
USP4,649,383: Driving method for improving contrast ratio of LCD
USP5,760,855: Guard wiring to prevent static-induced damage to LCD
USP6,052,162: Formation of electrode so as to improve display quality of LCD
USP7,027,024: Driving device for improving display quality of LCD
USP7,057,689: LCD having optical film for achieving wide viewing angle by compensating a phase difference