Samsung Sues AU Optronics, Acer, Sanyo for Alleged Flat-Panel Infringement

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest flat-screen maker, sued AU Optronics Corp. (2409) and three of the Taiwanese company’s customers in the U.S., alleging they infringed some of its display patents.

Samsung filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over the companies’ use of its technologies without payment in liquid-crystal-display products, the Suwon, South Korea-based maker said today. Samsung also filed lawsuits with federal courts in Delaware and California, it said in an e- mailed statement.

The customers are Sanyo Electric Co., Acer Inc. (2353) and BenQ Corp., said Nam Ki Yung, a Seoul-based spokesman at Samsung. The suit follows one that Samsung filed against Apple Inc. (AAPL) in April, after the iPad maker alleged Galaxy mobile devices copied the Cupertino, California-based company’s technologies and designs.

AU Optronics is reviewing the matter and will take the necessary steps to protect the interests of the company and its customers, Yawen Hsiao, a spokeswoman for the Hsinchu, Taiwan- based maker, said by telephone. Acer doesn’t comment on pending legal cases, said Stella Chou, a company spokeswoman in Taipei. Yuko Hosaka, a spokeswoman for Sanyo in Tokyo, wasn’t immediately available to comment. An official at BenQ declined to comment.

Samsung fell 2.5 percent to 888,000 won as of 11:22 a.m. in Seoul trading, poised for the steepest decline since April 28. AU Optronics dropped 1.1 percent to NT$23.30 in Taipei trading, and Acer fell 6.5 percent to NT$52.20.

In the complaint to the trade commission, Samsung said it is seeking an order prohibiting the import and sale of the LCD products used in televisions and computer monitors. The company is seeking damages in the Delaware and California suits, it said, without providing figures.

Samsung received the second-largest number of patents in the U.S. last year after International Business Machines Corp., IFI Claims Patent Services, a Wilmington, Delaware-based research company, said in January.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net; Phil Milford in Wilmington at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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