Osram sues Samsung, LG in South Korea
8/23/2011 12:56 AM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO—German high-tech lighting manufacturer Osram gmbh and its subsidiary, Osram Opto Semiconductors, filed multiple lawsuits in South Korea against companies controlled by LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung LED Co. Ltd., claiming that the companies are infringing core Osram patents.
Osram (Munich, Germany) said it filed a complaint against LG subsidiary LG Innotek Co. Ltd. with the Korea Trade Commission (KTC) and filed nullity suits and infringement actions against patents and companies of LG and Samsung in Korea.
Last month, Samsung LED filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting that the ITC bar the importation of products made by Osram, Osram Opto Semiconductors, and Osram Sylvania Inc. into the U.S. Samsung LED also filed suit for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Delaware to seek damages and a permanent injunction barring Osram's infringement. In June, Samsung LED also filed a patent infringement action against Osram in a Korean court.
LG last month joined Samsung in countersuing Osram, according to a report by the Reuters news service.
"Our most important competitors have acknowledged our patents by entering into cross-license agreements with us or paying royalties," said Aldo Kamper, CEO of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, in a statement. Kamper said Osram was "setting a clear signal" by filing the complaints in South Korea.
Osram said the complaint with the KTC alleges that LG Innotek infringes four LED patents for generating white light, often used in display backlighting for modern TV sets and computer monitors. Osram is requesting the KTC issue an order banning the exports of certain LG LED products from Korea that are allegedly manufactured using patented Osram core technology.
In its infringement actions with the Seoul Central District Court, Osram said it stresses that LG Group and Samsung companies are infringing its patents on white and surface mountable LEDs in Korea and requests that these companies refrain from using Osram technology. Osram's complaints also request damages, the company said.
Osram said it also filed nullity suits against patents that both companies have asserted against Osram. In Osram's view, these patents are null and void, the company said.
In June, Osram said it sued LG Group and Samsung companies for infringing patents and filed lawsuits in the U.S. and Germany. Osram also filed infringement lawsuits against LG Group companies in Japan and China, where Osram requests injunctive relief and damage compensation, the company said.
In the U.S., Osram said it also filed for an import ban, against LG and Samsung companies.
In a statement issued Monday, Samsung LED said it was aware of Osram's announcement but that the company has yet to receive any legal documents associated with it.
"Osram's actions in South Korea are a typical and expected response to Samsung's legal actions and appear to be an attempt to delay Samsung LED's infringement action against Osram in Korea," the statement read.
Samsung LED said it alleges infringement by Osram of eight patents on core LED technologies. The patented technology is used in a wide range of products, including lighting, automobiles, projectors, cell phone screens, and televisions, Samsung said.
Osram is a unit of Siemens AG.