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Samsung Electronics Faced with Patent Infringement Lawsuit from BOE in China

Post Time:2023-05-11 Source:Business Korea-Yoon Young-sil Author: Views:

China’s No. 1 display maker BOE has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in China. Industry analysts say this is a retaliatory move by BOE, which competes with Samsung in the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel market.

BOE recently sued Samsung Display, Samsung Display China, and Samsung Electronics China for patent infringement. A total of eight lawsuits are pending. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 18. BOE alleges that Samsung has stolen its technologies but it is not known which technologies have been stolen.

Many insiders of the Korean display industry interpret BOE’s lawsuit as an irrational attempt to stymie Samsung in China. They say that BOE filed the lawsuit in response to an OLED panel patent investigation that Samsung requested the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to launch in December 2022.

At the time, Samsung sought an import ban to prevent U.S. component wholesalers from utilizing components and panels for displays that infringed on its patents. The targeted companies included MobileSentrix, Injured Gadget and DFW Cellphone & Parts.

The companies allegedly sold counterfeit display panels to various unauthorized repair companies in the United States. The counterfeit display panels were used to repair broken Samsung Galaxy smartphones and Apple iPhones. The panels infringed upon key patents, including Samsung Display’s Diamond Pixel patent.

Industry insiders believe the counterfeit panels were sourced from China. “We don’t know the manufacturer or manufacturers of them but industry insiders believe that they were actually made and sold by Chinese companies such as BOE,” said one industry official. This explains why Chinese display maker BOE was included in the ITC investigation that originally targeted U.S. suppliers.

“We found that some products on the market infringed upon our Diamond Pixel patent,” a Samsung Display official said during the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call in January, explaining that the company filed a complaint with the ITC against 17 U.S. component wholesalers because the panels were of unknown origin, meaning they were made by unknown companies.