US Judge May Stop Launch Of New Apple iPhone

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The release of the next iPhone HD, which incorporates an LG OLED screen and was scheduled for a global launch in June 2010, could be halted by a US judge, after LG lost a court battle with a Taiwanese company over display patents.

As we reported yesterday, LG is again in trouble with the authorities, after Taiwanese company, AU Optronic, won a major court action in the U.S. last week following a ruling by the District of Delaware that LG had violated four patents relating to the performance and reliability of LCDs. AUO said it would seek a permanent ban on displays that infringe on the patents and hoped companies would voluntarily stop buying the displays.

Among the display technology being challenged is the new OLED display screen in the yet to be released Apple iPhone.

AUO could now push for an injunction on all products containing LG’s OLED screens, which would mean a US shutdown for the iPhone HD, say people familiar with the case.

LG Display, the world’s No.2 maker of liquid crystal display (LCD), said it would take action on AU’s moves once a U.S. court made a final ruling on the two firms’ patent dispute.

“We’ll take rigorous steps to protect our patents after a final verdict is made,” a LG Display spokesman said.

Shares in LG Display slumped 5% yesterday as the market digested the potential impact of a negative ruling.

Apple, who have a $500 million contract with LG Display to produce OLED and LCD display screens, has refused to comment on the case.  


 

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