SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Samsung Electronics launched legal actions against Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp. over alleged patent infringement in liquid crystal displays and vowed to protect the fruits of its investments in research and development.
Samsung said Thursday that it filed a complaint the day before with the United States International Trade Commission against AU and its customers for allegedly importing and selling LCD devices used in products such as TVs that the South Korean company claims infringe five of its patents. Samsung is seeking an order to prohibit the import and sale of those LCD devices.
Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung also said it filed a legal action against the Taiwanese company in the United States District Court of Delaware seeking damages over alleged infringement of the same patents included in the USITC complaint.
Samsung also filed a separate complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking damages for alleged infringement of two additional patents. And in an apparent preliminary move to prevent possible counter action by AU, Samsung is also asking that court to declare that its products do not infringe two AU-owned patents.
Samsung is the world's biggest manufacturer of LCDs, which are used in products including flat screen televisions, computer monitors and mobile phones. The company said that its investments in LCD research and development have yielded major advancements in the technology.
"To protect its investment and customers, Samsung has – and will continue – to take action against any unauthorized use of its patented technology," the company said.
AU Optronics said in an email that it is reviewing the matter and will "take the necessary action to protect the interest of our company and of our customers."
Patent disputes are common in the technology sector. Samsung's suit against AU, however, marks its first against the Taiwanese company, said Samsung spokesman Nam Ki-yung.
The South Korean technology and consumer electronics giant's accusations against AU come less than two months after Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in the United States alleging Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers copy Apple's iPad and iPhone.
Samsung subsequently announced it was suing the Cupertino, Calif.-based company in South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States, alleging the violation of its rights to smartphone and other patents.
Samsung shares fell 3.1 percent Thursday to close at 883,000 won ($818). Shares in AU Optronics fell 1.5 percent to 23.20 New Taiwan dollars.
– Associated Press writer Peter Enav in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report