TPK Holdings Co (宸鴻), one of Apple Inc’s touch-panel suppliers, yesterday said it would take legal action to protect its patented technologies after local rival Wintek Corp (勝華) accused it of infringing its patent involving touch-panel manufacturing technology.
Wintek said it found Acer Inc’s (宏碁) V5 series notebook computers were equipped with touch screens from TPKused its one-glass-solution (OGS) touch technology patent, a company filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said yesterday.
Wintek has filed a complaint to the district court of Delaware against Acer and its US units, as well as TPK and TPK’s units in the US and Xiamen, China.
“The company has been focusing on developing technologies in manufacturing touch panels over a long period of time. All technologies it uses are its own technologies, which are well-protected by several patents,” TPK said in a company statement.
Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Birdy Lu (呂家霖) said patent infringement lawsuits had gradually become a “non-event” in the smartphone industry and would have a limited impact on the supply chain.
“Everyone is suing everyone. Eventually, it might end up with some kind of cross-licensing agreement with each other. TPK is the technology leader. It is likely to have the upper hand in cross-licensing negotiations,” Lu said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Acer Inc (宏碁) chairman and chief executive Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂) said yesterday he had talked with TPK management about the issue and would consider what legal action to pursue.
TPK, the world’s biggest touch-panel supplier, would take necessary actions to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders after receiving formal notification from the court, the statement said.
As of the end of last year, TPK held 404 patents and had applied for 852 patents, the company’s latest annual report to shareholders said.
In January, TPK filed patent infringement lawsuits against Nokia Oyj, Compal Communications Inc (華寶通訊), which assembles handsets for Nokia, Chinese electronics retail chain Suning Appliance Co (蘇寧電器), O-film Tech Co Ltd (歐菲光科技), which makes cellphones for Huawei Technologies Co (華為), and Xiamen Zhongbo Trade Co (廈門市中博貿易), which sells Huawei’s cellphones.
Additional reporting by Helen Ku