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Samsung, Siemens’ Osram Settle Global LED Patent Fight

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Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. and Siemens AG’s Osram unit have reached a global settlement of their patent fights over light-emitting diode technology, according to a filing with a U.S. trade agency.

Financial details weren’t made public in the filing dated yesterday with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. The settlement ends a case that Samsung filed against Osram and that was scheduled for trial at the agency on Aug. 13. Osram’s case against Samsung went to trial last month, and the judge was expected to release his findings in October.

The settlement agreement covers those cases and “other legal proceedings throughout the world between Samsung and Osram involving LED technology,” the filing said. The companies have been fighting in Germany, South Korea and the U.S. over technology that is transforming how lighting works in homes, businesses, cars and electronics.

“We can confirm that we reached a settlement with Samsung,” Stefan Schmidt, an Osram spokesman, said in a statement. “Following the agreement, we do not comment on the details of the settlement. Osram feels comfortable with the reached agreement.”

LEDs, which reduce power consumption and can last decades, are being used more frequently in products like street lights and commercial lighting. Companies are trying to find ways to lower the cost of the LEDs so they can better compete in the home lighting market against traditional light bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs.

Thin TVs

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, the world’s largest maker of televisions, memory chips and smartphones, is planning to start selling televisions using organic light-emitting diodes in the second half of this year. The OLEDs enable TVs to be as thin as a tablet computer.

Osram is the world’s second-largest lighting company, behind Royal Philips Electronics NV, and Munich-based Siemens is considering spinning the company off next year so it can better capture growth in the LED market.

The ITC cases are In the Matter of Light-Emitting Diodes and Products Containing Same, 337-798 and 337-785, both U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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