Honeywell sueing flat-screen firms over LCD patent


Thu, Mar 22, 2007 - Page 11

Honeywell International Inc has sued Acer Inc, AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) and three other flat-screen companies, claiming that they have infringed a US patent on a method of stopping liquid-crystal displays from flickering.

The complaint was filed on Monday in US federal court in Tyler, Texas. It also targets BenQ Corp (明基), Renesas Technology Corp and Denmos Technology Inc (敦茂科技).

"Honeywell has sustained damages and will continue to sustain damages in the future, including irreparable harm, unless" the companies are ordered to stop using the invention, Honeywell said in court papers.

Honeywell, based in Morris Township, New Jersey, also wants cash compensation.

The dispute relates to a method of making "flicker-free" displays, according to US Patent and Trademark Office data.

Sales of LCDs, the most common type of screens used in flat-panel televisions and computer monitors, totaled about US$69 billion last year, according to estimates by Texas-based researcher DisplaySearch.

Spokespersons at five of the six companies being sued said they have not been informed about the lawsuit.

Sharon Huang, a spokeswoman at Renesas Technology's Taipei office, said she was not authorized to comment on legal issues.

Renesas, based in Japan, makes semiconductor chips.

Hsinchu-based AU Optronics is the world's third-biggest liquid-crystal display maker behind South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co and LG.Philips LCD Co.

Honeywell is the world's largest maker of airplane controls.