An Irish company has won a court judgement in Germany against tech giants LG and Sony for infringing patented screen technology.
Solas Oled is a Dublin-based firm that buys up display technology patents and then sues giants that it believes is infringing those patents.
In the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court in Germany, the firm has secured an order compelling LG and Sony to stop selling certain ‘Oled’ televisions without coming to a new arrangement with Solas.
Solas argued that the tech giants were using “a control circuit for light emitting diodes as invented at Stuttgart university” that it had acquired, in its televisions and displays.
Oled televisions tend to be sold at the high end of the television market, typically costing over €1,000. LG is the world’s biggest manufacturer of Oled television screens, with other electronics firms — such as Sony — using LG’s panels in their own high-end sets.
The ruling applies in Germany, Europe’s biggest individual electronics market. But Solas Oled is currently pursuing LG in other markets, according to company executives.
According to Solas, LG and Sony “must now immediately cease and desist from marketing infringing products in Germany. Apart from LG Display Germany GmbH, they will have to recall from commercial customers all infringing products and must render to Solas a detailed accounting necessary to establish damages owed by Defendants for sales of infringing products in Germany dating back to April, 2009.”
Companies like Solas sometimes court controversy because of the nature of what they do, scouring available patents for the opportunity to make a return from legal action against companies they suspect of using them.
However, the general counsel for Dublin-based Atlantic IP Services, which manages Solas Oled in its own portfolio, said that the company was merely vindicating the rights of the original creators.
“IP infringement is a serious matter, and the impact extends well beyond the parties directly involved in lawsuits, including to inventors whose inventions are essentially stolen or researchers who are denied funding because of lost streams of revenue,” said Aoife Butler.
“It is always commendable when Courts are willing to dig-in to reach the right decision even when being bullied by multinationals, and we are gratified that we can get equal footing against gigantic companies in a court of law. The German Patent Courts have an excellent reputation in Europe and so we are very happy that the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court took the time to consider the merits.”
Solas Oled, which was established in 2016 and is led b managing director Ciaran O’Gara, describes itself as “an Irish Oled technology licensing company [that] has assembled one of the world’s largest, most important and comprehensive intellectual property portfolios in the OLED space… From the smallest Oled watch to the largest Oled TV, Solas’ intellectual property is fundamental to the design, circuitry and manufacturing of Oled displays.”