18 November 2004 01:28 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--LG Electronics (LGE) is expecting the South Korean government to ban the import of plasma display panels (PDPs) produced by Japan’s Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, the parent company of electronics giant Panasonic, a company spokesman told CNI on Thursday.
LGE filed a complaint with the South Korean customs department earlier this month seeking a ban on the Panasonic-produced PDPs, citing patent infringement. The move was in retaliation for a similar action by its Japanese rival. The Japanese customs department on 12 November agreed to Matsushita’s request to ban imports of LGE-produced PDPs.
A LGE spokesman told CNI that the company had not yet filed a threatened patent-infringement lawsuit against Panasonic’s South Korean branch. “”We may file one after the (South Korean) government’s decision depending on what moves Matsushita makes next.”
The spokesman also said that the Japanese decision to ban LGE-produced PDPs was only having a minimal impact on the company. He said that LGE had only exported “several hundred” PDPs to Japan each month. The bulk of the company’s PDPs that go into Japan are in finished consumer products, such as flat-screen televisions and computer monitors made by LGE and third parties, and are not included in the custom’s ruling.
The conflict between the two electronics majors followed the breakdown in more than a year of talks on establishing a cross-licensing agreement covering PDP technologies. Both sides accuse the other of patent violations.
LGE and Panasonic were the top two PDP television makers last year, so if the legal and trade spat worsens it could have undesirable effects for their suppliers and customers.
Demand for PDPs and liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screens have been driving demand for a variety of electronics and electronic-related materials in Asia. As well as requiring a variety of films, LCD and PDP makers have been soaking up methyl methacrylate (MMA), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), and polycarbonate
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