Feeds

34 tech firms sued for alleged LCD patent theft

Honeywell demands 'directional diffuser' dues

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Honeywell has issued lawsuits against 34 companies, including Dell, Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Fujitsu, Sony and Toshiba alleging LCD panels used in their products infringe a 1992 patent the company holds.

The IP in question, patent number 5,280,371, was granted in January 1994. The application was made in July 1992. It covers a LCD's "directional diffuser" - essentially the filter used in many LCDs to increase the angles at which the screen can be viewed.

It's a technique used throughout the LCD world, across a range of devices, such as notebook PCs, LCD monitors and TVs, PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras and so on.

Anyone found to have infringed the Honeywell patent will have to face the company's demand for monetary damages and a ban on sales of infringing devices.

Not surprisingly, given the wide use of diffraction systems, Honeywell has already licensed its IP to major LCD manufacturers, including Samsung and LG Philips, the company said. Since many of the companies named in the suit don't actually manufacture LCDs themselves, it seems rather rum to sue them rather than their display component partners from whom they will have purchased LCD panels in good faith. And hopefully with indemnity against such action as Honeywell's.

Either way, it's not hard to imagine the likes of Apple, Dell, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji Photo Film, Casio, Kodak, and co. now rushing off to take up the matter with their suppliers. ®

Related stories

eBay asks for new patent trial
Cornice countersues Western Digital
TSMC asks US to ban SMIC chip imports
French atomic agency sues Samsung
Sony sued in digicam patent clash
MS defeated in ergo keyboard patent appeal
Seagate gets litigious with small hard drive rival
Final appeal in RIM's US Blackberry battle
PalmOne overturns Xerox Graffiti patent
Tech firm seeks $500m for Intel patent 'violation'
Intel accuser alleges 150 others violate chip patent

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.