AU returns fire at Sharp with LCD display patent suits in US

Taiwan's AU Optronics filed two complaints against Sharp in two different U.S. courts

Taiwan's AU Optronics, one of the biggest LCD screen makers in the world, said Thursday it filed two separate lawsuits in the U.S. against Sharp, alleging the infringement of nine LCD screen-related patents in all.

The first lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, over six patents, AU said in a statement. The second lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, accuses Sharp of infringing three additional patents.

AU did not specify the amount it seeks in damages from the claims, but said it wants a permanent injunction against the products in question, which range from Sharp's Quattron Series LCD TVs to smaller screens sold by the Japanese company.

The move comes just over a month after Japan's Sharp filed two similar patent complaints against AU Optronics, one with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and another with the United States District Court in Delaware.

Sharp, which filed its complaints in January, alleges that LCD panels and LCD modules made by AU infringe its patents. It further charged that any LCD TVs or monitors sold by AU customers also infringe those patents. The company has asked the ITC to prohibit import to the U.S. and sale of those products and is seeking compensation from AU in court. The cases are still pending.

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