In a major blow for Samsung the US International Trade Commission has ruled that the Korean Company has breached four Sharp LCD TV technology patents and that the Company must stop, immediately selling TVs that contain the Sharp patented technology.
Some of those TV’s are on sale in Australia according to sources.
The TV market leader in the US and Australia the decision is a major blow for Samsung who now face the prospect of having their TV’s banned from being sold in the US weeks out from the peak buying period.
The action bought by Sharp, one of the leaders in the development of LCD TV technology, could have a major impact on the profitability of the Korean Company after the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled against Samsung.
According to the Wall Street Journal the commission’s ruling will be delivered to U.S. President Barack Obama and to the United States Trade Representative for review.
Samsung is also going to have to lodge bond equivalent to the value of the infringing products should it continue to import them during the presidential review. This say analyst’s could amount to tens of millions of dollars.
According to Display Search data Samsung’s market share by unit shipments in the USA rose from 17.8% to 21.3% (the largest increase of any LCD-TV brand) in September with the Company using their LED TV technology to gain market share.
“We believe that the ITC’s ruling has made it clear that ITC has consistently supported Sharp’s claim that LCD products of Samsung violated Sharp’s patents,” a Sharp spokeswoman said.
The drama for Samsung started to unfold in 2008 when Sharp lodged a claim against Samsung against Samsung with the ITC, alleging Samsung infringed four of its patents related to a technology to improve the picture quality of LCDs.
Patent infringement lawsuits are common in the highly competitive flat-panel display industry, and over the past few years several LCD makers have been fighting to protect their patents in the courtroom.
An arrogant Samsung said that it expects no major impact on its business from the U.S. trade commission’s ruling. Insiders at Samsung are saying that the issue will be resolved at a Government to Government level with Korean and US officials set to discuss the issue within the next 24 hours.
Samsung said it has no plans so far to negotiate with Sharp on the issue, including cross-license pacts.
The Wall Street Journal wrote “Samsung has been selling other products that avoid Sharp’s patents from September, so even if it is banned from exporting (the LCDs that allegedly used Sharp patents to the U.S.), no impact either on Samsung’s business or its earnings is expected at all,” said Y.J Park, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities.