Sony Corp’s patent-infringement claims against TPV Technology Ltd (冠捷) and Innolux Display Corp (群創光電) will be investigated by a US trade agency that may bar imports of the two companies’ computer monitors if a violation is found.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington said on Thursday it would consider Sony’s claims that digital TVs and monitors made in China are infringing 10 Sony patents. The complaint also names ViewSonic Corp, based in Walnut, California, which sells the electronics.
TPV and Innolux “have never taken a license to the asserted patents from Sony,” the Tokyo-based company said in the complaint. “Their products are not covered by any license under the Sony patents.”
TPV, based in Hong Kong, is the world’s largest contract maker of computer monitors and reported US$2.5 billion in North American revenue in 2008, court filings show. The TPV products targeted by Sony’s complaint are sold under the Envision, AOC, Hewlett-Packard Co, Dell Inc, Acer (宏碁), Lenovo (聯想), Asus (華碩) and ViewSonic names.
Innolux merged with Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) last month to become Chimei Innolux Corp, Taiwan’s biggest LCD panel maker. The Innolux monitors are sold under the Dell, HP, Acer, ViewSonic and Lenovo names. None of the computer makers, including HP or Dell, were named in the ITC complaint.
Sony filed a patent suit against ViewSonic and TPV last year in US federal court over the same patents. In a Feb. 22 filing in the case, TPV denied infringing the patents and said they are invalid. ViewSonic made similar claims.