Taiwanese handset camera lens maker Largan Precision Co (大立光) has sued Samsung Electronics Co in a US district court, accusing the world’s largest smartphone maker of infringing on six patents Largan registered in the US, according to a copy of court papers the Taipei Times received yesterday.
In the complaint filed on Thursday last week in the US District Court in the Southern District of California, Largan also sued Samsung Electronics America Inc and Samsung Telecommunications America LLC, two subsidiaries of Samsung that sell and offer a variety of consumer electronics, as well as personal and business communications devices in the US.
Largan claimed the patent infringements by Samsung have led to “foreseeable harm and injury” to the company and it was seeking unspecified compensation and an immediate end to such infringements.
“Largan has become aware that many of Samsung’s mobile phones, such as the Galaxy Note II, incorporate inventions covered by one or more of Largan’s patents,” the company said in the complaint.
The company said it had notified Samsung several times this year in January, February, August and September with letters, e-mails and claim charts that it was infringing Largan’s patents.
“Despite being aware of Largan’s patents and Largan’s infringement allegations, Samsung has continued selling the infringing devices” in the US, the complaint said.
The latest patent litigation came after the Greater Taichung-based company filed a lawsuit against domestic rival Ability Optoelectronic Technology Inc (先進光電) last month for stealing trade secrets.
In June, Largan also sued another domestic rival, Genius Electronic Optical Co (玉晶光), for patent infringement.
The lawsuit against Samsung would be a different battle than others as the South Korean firm held a market capitalization of 219.33 trillion won (US$207.71 billion) yesterday, 43 times bigger than Largan’s market value of NT$142.86 billion (US$4.85 billion).
Moreover, Samsung is also one of Largan’s clients. In July, Largan chief executive officer Adam Lin (林恩平) said the firm had begun shipping camera lenses to the South Korean firm.
Largan said it has developed a portfolio of patents to address the need for imaging lenses, which are used in cameras for a wide range of devices including mobile phones, tablets, notebook computers, webcams, cars and scanners.
The patents-in-suit are Patent No. 7262925 for an image lens array; Patent No. 7394602 for an optical system for capturing images; Patent No. 7898747 for a thin-type optical lens system for capturing images; Patent No. 8154807 for imaging lens assembly; Patent No. 8284291 for optical lens assembly; and Patent No. 8508860 for an optical lens system.
Largan’s shares rose 5.97 to NT$1,065 yesterday. They have risen 36.89 percent so far this year.