The government will move to resolve a deepening intellectual property dispute between Samsung and LG over display technologies, The Korea Times has learned.
Samsung Display and LG Display, the flat-screen affiliates of the groups, have been involved in an ugly fight over patents related to liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens.
Samsung has argued in court that LG's patents in these areas should be delisted. LG countered by seeking a sales ban on Samsung Electronics' Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, which it claims depend on the infringed LG patents.
Policymakers have concluded they can ill-afford to let the conflict escalate given that companies in Japan and Taiwan are determined to make inroads into the display market currently dominated by the Korean duo.
The market for OLED panels, in particular, is increasingly becoming an open-field contest.
According to sources from both companies, Kim Jae-hong, who heads the industrial policy department at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, has scheduled meetings with both Samsung Display CEO Kim Ki-nam and LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom to help iron out the differences between the two firms.
''Kim will meet Han this week and Kim next week. The government will ask the top executives to end the patent fight for the sake of national interest,'' according to an executive at one of the companies.
Samsung officials confirmed that the meeting has been arranged but declined to talk in detail about what would be discussed. LG representatives were coy on the matter as well.
Park Yong-min, an official from the display and semiconductor industries division at the ministry, admitted that policymakers have decided to take an active role in mediating the dispute and persuading the companies to drop their lawsuits.
''It makes no sense for Samsung and LG to spend all that money on lawsuits at a time when rivals from Japan and Taiwan are beginning to present a more serious challenge, especially in the market for OLEDs,'' Park said.
LG Display claims that Samsung infringed on its in-house technology with its OLED screen for the new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, which was produced by Samsung Display.
LG Display is arguing that its rival should pay $933,000 for each day Samsung fails to meet its conditions over patents. Samsung countersued in November last year.
Japan's Panasonic surprised the world by releasing a 56-inch OLED television with stunning picture quality, a product it jointly developed with domestic rival Sony, at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.