Samsung and LG Still at War Over OLED Secrets

Korea’s Suwon District Public Prosecutor’s Office has indicted four Samsung Display officials for violation of the unfair competition prevention and trade secret protection act. The CEO of one of LG Display’s subcontractors was also charged with stealing and selling LGD’s technology.

A spokesman for LGD urged Samsung to “compete in good faith and stop devoting its energies to blemishing competitors through means other than fair competition, such as patent litigation and illegal acquisition of technologies”. However, Samsung Display responded with a statement saying it regretted that the prosecutors applied “somewhat undue and excessive standards on conventional business practices between companies”.

The two companies have been in dispute over OLED patents since September 2012 when Samsung filed an injunction against LGD over an alleged leak of OLED technology (Display Monitor Vol 19 No 36). LGD hit back at Samsung’s lawsuit and filed its own claim that Samsung had infringed seven of LGD’s patents relating to the design of OLED panels, driver circuitry and devices (Display Monitor Vol 19 No 39). In 2013, both companies agreed to halt their lawsuits against each other and focus on finding ways to cooperate on patent matters through discussions. However, settlement negotiations failed last July, reportedly because Samsung wanted to reach a cross-licensing deal but LGD was not interested.