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The battle over flat screen TV technology is getting dirtier by the day. Now it is Samsung who has sued LCD TV competitor Sharp claiming it infringed four U.S. patents for the technology used in televisions and computer monitors.

Sharp is wrongly importing “products and processes” protected by patents awarded since 2004, Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, claimed in a complaint filed Dec. 21 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Sharp subsidiaries based in San Diego and Mahwah, New Jersey, “intend to continue their unlawful infringing activity,” and Samsung “will continue to suffer irreparable harm” without a court order prohibiting Sharp’s misuse of the inventions, Samsung alleged in the complaint.

The action is part of a continuing battle between the two companies. In August, Osaka-based Sharp sued Samsung in federal court in Marshall, Texas, claiming infringement of five liquid- crystal patents. Sharp filed a similar patent lawsuit against Samsung in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 12.

Samsung also filed a related complaint against Sharp with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington over patents, according to the agency’s Web site.

Sharp spokeswoman Martha Harvey didn’t return calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Samsung shares fell 2,000 South Korean Won to 576,000 in Korean trading today. Sharp rose 5 yen to 2,015 in Tokyo.

To review the disputed patents through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, search for patent numbers 7,193,666; 6,771,344; 7,295,196; and 6,937,311 at http://patft.uspto.gov .

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