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Ruling in Favor of Korean Companies in a Korea-Japan PDP Patent Dispute

Ruling in Favor of Korean Companies in a Korea-Japan PDP Patent Dispute

Posted December. 06, 2004 22:42,   


The Supreme Court of Korea has ruled in favor of local manufacturers in a dispute over the patent for technology used in producing plasma display panels (PDP), a type of hang-on-the-wall TV. The dispute between Korea’s four major electronics companies and Japan’s Fujitsu, Ltd. has lasted almost a decade.

The ruling attracts particular attention as it comes when the patent dispute is getting fierce between Korean and Japanese companies. Fujitsu has requested the Japanese customs office to block the entry of Samsung SDI’s PDPs for infringing the patent right held by the Japanese manufacturer. Matsushita, another Japanese PDP maker, has filed a court injunction against the import of PDP modules made by LG Electronics and requested a block on the entry of the products.

The second division of the Supreme Court (chief judge: Yoo Ji-dam) announced on December 6 that it upheld the original ruling made on November 26 where it ruled in favor of plaintiffs in a complaint by four Korean PDP manufacturers, including Samsung SDI and LG Electronics against Fujitsu. The plaintiffs sought to nullify the registration of patents for the Japanese company’s technology.

The patent in question covers a technology that emits colored lights in plasma displays. The court said in its ruling that Fujitsu’s patented technology is something that people with overall knowledge in the field can learn from Japan’s public data on patents and added that the technology is not recognized as pioneering.

When the Industrial Property Office accepted Fujitsu’s patent application in 1995, four Korean makers, Samsung SDI, LG electronics, Orion Electric, and Hyundai Electronics, filed a complaint against the patent application and won the case in 2002. The four companies argued in the complaint that the Japanese maker’s patent registration should be nullified as its technology can be invented by others referring to publications issued before the registration.