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LG execs fingered in Samsung OLED tech theft

Samsung wants its rival to come clean

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Samsung has urged its South Korean tech rival LG to ‘fess up and apologise after several of its execs were indicted on charges of orchestrating corporate espionage relating to Samsung’s OLED display technology.

Eleven people were charged on Sunday with leaking the technology from Samsung, according to Korean newswire Yonhap. Aside from the LG execs, six of the group were apparently former or current employees at Samsung Mobile.

Samsung said in a statement that it stands to lose “trillions of won” from the leak.

"Executives of LG Display, which lacks OLED technology and related human resources, took the lead in this criminal act in order to overcome their shortcomings as quickly as possible," it added.

However, in a statement sent to Yonhap, LG hit back, denying any allegations of involvement and promising to sue its Korean rival for defamation.

"LG Display's products boast excellent technology and even received a presidential award with the OLED panel for 55-inch screens," it added.

"We do not need Samsung's technology which works under a totally different display system."

LG is wise to highlight its success with the 55in OLED TV model, given that it has relatively few other OLED products on the market.

It has, however, recently been picked by the Korean government to head up a project to develop transparent, flexible OLED displays for use in locations such as bus stations, aquariums and retail stores.

OLED technology - typically lighter and thinner than traditional LCDs and requiring no backlight – is spearheading the next generation of displays, although its use is restricted mainly to smartphones at the moment.

Samsung, by contrast, has around 97 per cent of the global market sewn up.

Time will tell who is telling the truth in this story, but it’s no secret that the world of IT is riddled with corporate espionage.

In the LCD display industry, Samsung and LG were both forced to pay out hundreds of millions of pounds to settle allegations of involvement in a widespread price fixing cartel. ®

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