LG, Panasonic end patent suits against Taiwan companies

Dispute ends after more than a six year run

South Korea's LG Electronics and Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial, better known as Panasonic, have both settled patent infringement lawsuits with Taiwanese companies, they said.

LG's dispute has run more than six years and involves patents for PCI bus technology. PCI is a standard interface technology used for plug-in expansion cards.

LG sued First International Computer in May 2000 and Compal Electronics in April 2001 alleging they were using LG's proprietary Peripheral Component Interconnection (PCI) technology in computers they were making and selling to major US computer brands.

After an initial defeat at trial court, which ruled the companies were not infringing on LG's technology, the South Korean company won a victory in July 2006 when an appeals court overturned the original ruling. A further trial was set to begin in January 2008 in California but that will not take place now thanks to the agreement between the three companies.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Panasonic said it had resolved a patent infringement case brought against Taiwan's CMC Magnetics and two of CMC's US affiliates, Hotan and KHypermedia. The case involved three patents related to recordable DVD technology.

The dispute was settled with Panasonic and CMC entering into a patent cross license agreement covering manufacture and sale of recordable and rewritable DVDs and CDs.

The 10-year license involved CMC paying an undisclosed royalty to Panasonic, the Japanese company said.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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