According to reports from the LG Display Co. 11 people including six of its own employees are charged with stealing advanced TV display technology from its rival company, Samsung.
In an indictment filed in the Suwon District Court in South Korea, the six LG employees are accused of stealing Samsung Mobile’s organic light emitting diode technology along with some important business secrets. Two of the accused are former Samsung employees.
The two South Korean display manufacturers are the world biggest display suppliers; both are competing for complete domination in the market for next generation OLED displays. These are touted to become important game changers because these displays are lighter, thinner and can be made flexible. OLED televisions can produce images sharper than the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) models and are as thin as 4 mm or 0.2 inch. It is said that the shipments of OLED TVs may increase 62 times and go up to 2.1 million sets in 2015 from 34,000 in 2012.
Samsung Mobile has demanded a formal apology from LG Display and an assurance that the company will take the necessary steps to prevent reoccurrence of any such incidences. According to an e-mail by the company Samsung claimed that LG Display methodically took Samsung’s OLED expertise and core staff to overcome its own inadequacies. The company said in a statement, “Samsung Mobile Display, which takes up about 97% share in the world’s OLED market, is worried about losing tens of trillions of won due to the latest technology leak.” Samsung has been religiously pushing OLED as the next-generation display technology. The company supplies a large quantity of its OLEDs to be used in mobile gadgets such as its own Galaxy smart phones.
LG claims that the information claimed to be stolen is actually widely known in the industry and cannot be considered a trade secret. Seoul-based LD Display has stated that it plans to take legal action against Samsung Display, suing it for defamation. In a statement released to the press, the company said that, “LG Display doesn’t need other companies’ technology; Samsung Mobile Display’s technology is totally different from LG Display’s.”
Both Samsung and LG are longtime domestic rivals and trying to use the OLED technology for manufacturing larger screens like televisions.