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U.S. may ban imports of Samsung LCDs

The U.S. International Trade Commission says the South Korean firm violated the patent rights of Japanese rival Sharp.

September 10, 2009|Bloomberg News

Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea, the world's largest maker of liquid-crystal display televisions, may be barred from selling TVs and computer monitors in the U.S. after losing a patent case filed by Japanese rival Sharp Corp.

The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington said Wednesday that Samsung violated Sharp's patent rights and ordered both sides to submit arguments on whether an import ban should be imposed. In a notice on its website, the agency said it wanted to consider the effect of a ban on "competitive conditions in the U.S. economy."

The six-member commission this year acted to block imports of certain TVs made by Sharp and Irvine-based Vizio Inc. in patent cases brought by Samsung and Japan's Funai Electric Co., respectively. Those rulings have been appealed to a federal appellate court that specializes in patent law. That appeals court is likely to hear an appeal of the trade panel's latest ruling.

Samsung had 19.9% of the U.S. market for LCD TVs in the second quarter, according to research firm ISuppli Corp. in El Segundo. Irvine-based Vizio was No. 1 with 20.5%. Sharp was seventh with 5%.

A spokeswoman for Samsung declined to comment.

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