Samsung Display has initiated legal action against China’s BOE Technology Group over allegations of trade secret misappropriation concerning organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels. The complaint has been formally lodged with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), as indicated by an ITC statement released on Friday.
In this legal dispute, Samsung Display has accused BOE Technology and seven of its affiliated entities of breaching trade secret regulations.
It is a major intellectual property conflict between the two prominent display manufacturers in the industry. This is the first instance where Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, has resorted to the ITC to raise allegations against its competitor, BOE.
The complaint filed by Samsung Display remains confirmed, but the company withheld further elaboration on the matter. In contrast, BOE, the Chinese display manufacturer, refrained from responding immediately.
The matter concerns Samsung Display’s claim that BOE gained access to crucial technological assets through Toptec, a Korean parts supplier that previously collaborated with Samsung.
Samsung Display has put forth an explanation for the numerous infractions committed by BOE relating to a case of trade secret leakage. It emerges that the highest court in South Korea had previously ruled against Toptec, Samsung’s business partner, in a case involving the divulgence of Samsung’s proprietary curved edge panel technology to China. However, the source providing this insight chose to remain anonymous.
The ITC investigation is slated to commence early next month, with the allegations against BOE hinging on violating a U.S. law that encompasses “unfair methods of competition.” This legal offense extends to the infringement of intellectual property, with a particular focus on trade secrets, within the domain of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display modules and components.
A separate case regarding the alleged infringement of Samsung’s display patents has seen the ITC endorsing Samsung’s contentions, finding that BOE was indeed in violation of five of Samsung’s display patents. Among these patents, the contentious “Diamond Pixel” technology takes center stage.
Samsung accused BOE of widely disseminating counterfeit displays used extensively in the United States for repairing smartphones. This legal action aimed to deter the Chinese panel manufacturer and protect Samsung’s consumer-focused patents.
In a retaliatory move, BOE initiated patent invalidation proceedings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against the five specific patents filed by Samsung in June.
In response to these legal proceedings, Samsung has commenced patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and in Chinese courts. The primary trial at the ITC is scheduled to commence on January 22, next year, with the verdict anticipated on June 17, 2024.
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