Business Korea: Samsung Display files patent infringement lawsuit against China’s BOE in US
Chinese article by 周宇哲
English Editor 张未名
07-06 14:13

By Kate Yuan

(JW Insights) Jul 6 -- Samsung Display has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. against Chinese display manufacturer BOE for smartphone OLED patents, Business Korea reported on July 3.

Samsung Display filed the lawsuit against BOE in the Eastern District Court of Texas, the U.S., on June 26 (local time) for the first time. A big backdrop of the dispute is the widening market share gap between Korea and China in the small-medium sized OLED market. The number was 91.9% points in 2018 (Korea 95.5%, China 3.6%), but last year it narrowed to 59.1% points (Korea 79.1%, China 20%), according to the Korean Display Industry Association.

Samsung Display claims that BOE’s OLED panels for the iPhone 12 to 14 infringe on a total of five of its patents, including its unique technology known as the Diamond Pixel structure and related driving technologies. Diamond Pixel technology, which improves image quality by constructing subpixels of a display pixel in a diamond shape, was first used in the Galaxy S4 series in 2013 and has since become a key technology of Samsung OLED panels, said Business Korea.

In December of last year, Samsung Display filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting that 17 American panel suppliers be prevented from importing “fake panels” from China.

In February, BOE, which was initially not the subject of the investigation, voluntarily responded to the ITC investigation and became a defendant, but soon began to counterattack. Four Chinese companies, including BOE, have requested an Inter Parties Review (IPR) from the U.S. Patent Office regarding Samsung’s Display patents. In addition, in April, BOE filed a lawsuit at the First Intermediate People’s Court of Chongqing, China, claiming that seven entities including Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display's Chinese branch infringed on five of its patents related to OLED panel structure.

Industry insiders and patent experts interpret BOE’s rash litigation as an attempt to hamstring Samsung. There’s also the concern that China could usurp technology leadership in OLED after LCD. The OLED market is showing a similar trend as the LCD market did, according to Business Korea.

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