Camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co (大立光) has lodged a patent infringement complaint in the US against Taiwanese companies Ability Opto-Electronics Technology Co (先進光電) and Newmax Technology Co (新鉅科), and US notebook computer vendor HP Inc.
It marked the first time Largan has filed suit to protect its intellectual property rights for lenses used in notebook computers, although about 90 percent of its revenue is derived from lenses used in smartphones.
The Taichung-based company filed the complaint with the US Eastern District Court of Texas on Wednesday last week, accusing the three companies of infringing on four of its patents, according to information posted on the district court’s Web site.
No details about the complaint were available on the Web site. However, a report by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News said that Largan is accusing Ability and Newmax of illegally using its patents to manufacture camera lenses for notebooks, with 15 HP laptop models equipped with the problematic lenses.
“Largan has claimed that Ability illegally used four of its patents in the production of camera lenses,” Ability said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday. “The company has never intended to infringe on patents owned by other companies. We will seek a legal approach to safeguard the interests of the company and our clients.”
Ability said in the filing that it owns 235 patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
This is the second lawsuit Largan has filed against Ability.
In 2013, it sued Ability for theft of trade secrets in Taipei.
A preliminary ruling in 2017 by the Intellectual Property Court ruled in favor of Largan and ordered Ability to pay NT$1.52 billion (US$48.9 million at the current exchange rate) in compensation.
Ability has filed an appeal.
Newmax also denied any wrongdoing, it said in a separate exchange filing on Tuesday night.
Ability and Newmax yesterday saw their shares tumble 1.41 percent and 4.23 percent to NT$48.80 and NT$102 respectively in Taipei trading, after the patent litigation was disclosed.
Largan shares edged lower 0.11 percent to close at NT$4,530.
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