Sharp TVs, monitors banned from U.S. in Samsung win

Some Sharp Corp. liquid-crystal display televisions and computer monitors should be banned from the U.S. because they infringe a patent owned by Samsung Electronics Co., a U.S. trade agency said today.

Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of LCDs, won a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that the Sharp products infringe one of its patents. The agency in Washington said a second patent wasn’t infringed, overturning a judge’s decision on that issue.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung and Sharp, based in Osaka, Japan, have been fighting in the U.S. and Japan over patented technology for the displays. Earlier this month, a trade judge said Samsung TVs, monitors and professional displays infringe four Sharp patents and recommended Samsung TVs also be banned from the U.S.

In a notice posted on its Web site today, the ITC said unlicensed Sharp LCD devices, including display panels and modules, and LCD televisions made overseas that use Samsung’s patented invention should be banned from the U.S.

In its complaint, filed in December, Samsung named models in the Aquos line of high-definition TVs as among those made and sold by Sharp that violated the patent.

The ban is subject to review by President Obama, and the underlying patent case can be appealed to a U.S. court that specializes in patent law.

Chris Loncto, a spokesman for Sharp, said the company is awaiting details on the full decision so we won’t have any comment.

Officials with Samsung didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

Samsung had initially claimed infringement of four patents. The patent it won on was issued in 2004 and is titled Liquid Crystal Display having wide viewing angle.

The ITC investigates allegations of unfair trade practices, such as patent-infringement, and has the authority to ban imports.

The Sharp case against Samsung is In the Matter of Certain Liquid Crystal Display Modules, 337-634, and the Samsung case is In the Matter of Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices and Products Containing Same, 337-631, both U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington.