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Pioneer defeats Samsung in plasma panel patent spat

$59m damages awarded

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Pioneer has prevailed in its legal battle with Samsung over who owns key plasma display technologies.

Samsung will have to cough up $59.3m (£38m/€47m) to Pioneer after the US District Court for Eastern Texas ruled that its display division, Samsung SDI, had flouted Pioneer's intellectual property rights, specifically a pair of patents for a surface-discharge plasma display and a brighter-than-usual plasma screen.

Pioneer took Samsung to court in September 2006 after, it claimed at the time, 18 months of unsuccessful negotiations that centred on persuading Samsung to license the technology.

Samsung has yet to publicly announce what it'll do next, but it has the option of appealing against the verdict. Or it might simply choose to pay out the damages and license Pioneer's technology, which might just work out less expensive than continuing to pay the lawyers.

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