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Pioneer Wins PDP Patent Suit Against Samsung SDI

Pioneer won on Wednesday a patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Samsung SDI over plasma display panel (PDP) technology.

In the case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in late 2006, Pioneer alleged that Samsung infringed on two of its PDP patents. In question were U.S. patent 5,128,489, which covers the production process of a chemical used in plasma display panels, and U.S. patent 5,640,068, which deals with a surface discharge plasma display.

The jury found that Samsung did infringe on the two patents and decided it should pay Pioneer US$6.1 million to compensate for lost profits as a result of infringement of the first patent and an additional $51.3 million in royalty payments for that infringement. The Japanese company was awarded an additional $2 million to cover royalties for infringement of the second patent, according to court filings.

"Pioneer will continue its basic stance of protecting its intellectual property rights," the company said in a brief statement.

No immediate comment was available from Samsung SDI.

Samsung SDI is the world's second largest manufacturer of plasma display panels, according to second quarter data from DisplaySearch. The company had a 31 percent share of the global market during the April to June period behind top-ranked Panasonic, which had a 37 percent share. Pioneer was ranked in fifth place with a share of 3 percent behind LG Electronics and Hitachi.

The plasma display market overall is expanding with total shipments of 3.5 million screens during the second quarter on the back of strong demand for flat-panel televisions.

In the consumer space the company is paring back its plasma TV offerings and in Japan recently cut its line-up from four TV sets to two sets. Increasingly fierce competition in the flat panel TV market is squeezing profits at many set makers.

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