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AU Optronics Asks For US Ban On LG LCD Sales 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the alphabet-soup dept.
eldavojohn writes "After a lengthy patent case, complete with countersuits, AU Optronics has asked for an injunction against all LCD products made by LG. While this may not sound serious, LG is the number one manufacturer of LCDs used in LCD TVs, laptop PCs and desktop monitors. A quarter of global LCDs shipped in March were LG brand. The bizarre part of the story is that LG Display struck first against AU Optronics way back in 2006 with a patent suit to the tune of $690 million, and in 2009, when the case finally went to court, AUO filed counter-claims of patent infringement that are now coming to fruition. So before you call AUO a patent troll, keep in mind that LGD shot first."
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AU Optronics Asks For US Ban On LG LCD Sales

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2010 @12:08PM (#32064826)

    if there's even an outside chance that they might bring back CRTs because of this because they can't sell LCDs, I'm all for it!

    I can't even watch an LCD, period. Even the best, highest-quality ones seem to blur and tear with any motion, and they're all overly bright making colors look horrible.

    Please bring back CRTs if you cannot fix these issues.

    Posting anonymously because everyone's going to think this is a troll, even though it's the 100% honest truth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2010 @12:28PM (#32065028)

    Come buy your LCD displays in Canada, eh?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2010 @01:11PM (#32065350)

    "The patent system was originally designed to protect the small inventor from a large business entity that could simply absorb the product into their existing product line and mass-produce it at a lower cost than the inventor ever could."

    You're confusing the situation today with that two centuries ago when patent legislation originated in the USA. There was no mass production. Guns with interchangeable parts didn't appear until some decades later, and the assembly line not until later still. The patent system was not about small inventors vs. large businesses, the point was to prevent inventions from being lost because the inventor kept it secret from his competitors and then got kicked in the head by a horse one day without ever having passed on the knowledge.

    Personally, I feel it is highly unlikely in today's world that any individual's invention is going to be so specialized that it could not be discovered independently by someone else in less time than it would take for a patent to expire. The patent system today is nothing more than "neener neener, I thought of it first!", welfare for lawyers, and a tool used by big business to shut out competition.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @01:17PM (#32065384) Journal

    Hitachi/Fujitsu sued LG back in 2007. LG have always been ruthless in not caring about patents.

    ROTFL. The linked article notes that LG sued Hitachi, not the other way around. And of course LG (and AUO and Hitachi and Samsung and all the rest) don't care about the other guy's patents; they don't even know about them. They're all working on similar products from the technological base, with engineers and researchers with similar education and experience; it would be a great surprise if there wasn't a lot of overlap. Particularly since their patent lawyers write the patents as broadly as possible (and often in obfuscating language) while still getting past the various patent offices (not a high bar!). No one is going around reading anyone else's patent filings for ideas.

  • by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @01:18PM (#32065404)
    I can't imagine any court would grant an injunction. The undue hardship upon OEMs and end-users makes it almost certain not to be granted. MS was sued a few years ago for violating a product activation patent, which I think was found to be an infringement, but the court refused to grant an injunction, as it would do great harm to the consumer. Although the court did seem a bit ignorant of technology, and utilized an argument that a months long total rewrite of Office was required, instead of just slipstreaming a minor update disabling product activation. The court could have given MS a reasonable amount of time to fix it, then granted an injunction. I think it ended up being a damages linked to royalties award.
  • by coolsnowmen (695297) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @03:27PM (#32066246)

    Bah, spoken obviously as someone who doesn't actually try and make anything new and useful. Yes the consumer seems to lose out in the short run for patents, but that isn't the point. It is about the long run.

    It wasn't about the lost of information due to unforeseen accidents. It is to prevent two eventualities of an America w/o patents.
    Either the invention is impossible to reproduce and the inventor takes it to his grave, or someone sees the invention, which didn't exist until the inventor made it, and says hmm, that seem obvious how to do now, I think I'll copy him.

    If it is a legit patent, then the fact is it didn't exist until the inventor thought of it, if it is illegitimate, then prove it and get it killed, don't just sit there and whine. There is nothing wrong with the idea of patents in modern society, only with people not making good decision on what is -- and is not-- new and Non-obvious.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @04:18PM (#32066498)

    Bah, spoken obviously as someone who doesn't actually try and make anything new and useful.

    Non-necessarily. Working in the EU as a computer programmer, my ideas and creations have never been protected by patents. Software patents are not-enforcable in the EU. That fact has never stopped me creating stuff, either as an employee or when doing my own thing. Nor has it stopped any of the rest of the European software industry.

    Now, is there something fundamentally different about software patents, or is it that patents are unnecessary? That's the question.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @05:10PM (#32066806)

    If you nullify software patents, then you call into question all that is hardware patents, because there is NOTHING that can be done in software, that can't be done in hardware.

    Indeed I DID call into question hardware patents. I'm far from convinced they are necessary. Indeed I could point you at an American company, that develops novel and non-obvious chips including a unique multi-core microcontroller. They've never applied for a patent for any product or technology, and they are possibly the most creative small company I know. The company is Parallax [parallax.com], and the microcontroller is the Propeller [wikipedia.org].

    I feel that you completely ignored my comments on the implications of 'non-obviousness' being a criteria.

    That's because I agreed with it, as far as it went.

    My post basically called you out on your insult to the pervious poster: "Bah, spoken obviously as someone who doesn't actually try and make anything new and useful." It's simply an untrue categorization of people that don't agree with patents that they are not people who work on creating new and useful technology and products.

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:45AM (#32070382) Homepage

    Bilski is different because it isn't a constitutional case. Congress has decided that mathematical algorithms and business method patents don't secure the progress of science and useful arts and have excluded them from patent protection. The issue is whether or not a computer program that works out the price of derivatives and buys / sells them in response to trades with customers comes under these categories.

    In Europe, which has similar exclusions from patentability, a similar case was heard, and it was decided that if the same task could be performed by a "little man" in a control room, following instructions, then it can't get a patent.

    Now this company could employ someone, or a whole team of people, pass them details of all the trades the company makes and give them instructions as to how to work out the price of the derivative and give them procedures to decide whether or not to buy or sell it. So if this case was being heard in Europe, the "little man" defence would apply.

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