LG Electronics sues over patents

South Korea's LG Electronics said Monday that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against China’s Thomson TCL Electronics and its holding company, TCL Multimedia Technology over digital television technologies.

The move, aimed at guarding against the rapid growth of Chinese TV makers, comes as global TV producers jostle for market share.

LG claimed in the suit filed with the US District Court of Texas that TTE, China’s biggest TV maker, violated four LG patents including ones related to broadcast protocols and a V-chip programme-rating control system. LG had held unsuccessful talks with its Chinese rival since early 2005 to try to resolve the disputes.

“Intellectual property including patents is the company’s essential asset, which we have a right not to be disturbed. This lawsuit shows our strong will for protection of our own intellectual property,” LG said .

TTE is the TV-manufacturing unit of Hong Kong-based TCL Multimedia and counts Thomson of France and Chinese consumer electronics company TCL as its main shareholders. TTE is the world’s third-largest TV producer, with a 9.6 per cent share of the global TV market.

TTE said its management was looking into the matter but declined to comment further.

■ LG’s joint venture with Philips, LG Philips LCD said it would expand the capacity of its seventh-generation production plant by 22 per cent to meet growing demand for large-size TV panels.

The monthly production capacity of the G7 plant in Paju, north of Seoul, will be increased from 90,000 glass sheets to 110,000 by the third quarter. The plant is optimised to produce 42-inch and 47-inch LCD TV panels.

“The company believes that this move will help strengthen its market leadership and competitiveness as well as enhance its presence in the global LCD TV market,” LG Philips LCD said.

LG Philips LCD, the world’s second-largest flat panel display maker, was forced to cut output last year because of falling panel prices. The company suffered losses in the previous three quarters amid oversupply.

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