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

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.