Sharp asks U.S. trade body to probe Hisense in patent dispute

TOKYO, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp said on Wednesday it has requested the U.S. International Trade Commision to investigate Hisense Group Co Ltd, escalating a dispute in which it has accused the Chinese firm of patent infringement.

Sharp, which has licensed use of its brand to sell TVs in the Americas to Hisense, sued the Chinese firm in the United States this year, saying the firm is putting the Sharp name on what it described as low-quality TVs.

Companies frequently sue both at the ITC, which has the authority to block the import of products that infringe a U.S. patent, as well as in court to win monetary damages.

Sharp has said it is expanding a TV sales drive in China and re-entering the Americas television market with a high-end brand, part of a plan to double global TV sales to over 10 million sets in the business year beginning next April.

Sharp is owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd , the world’s largest contract electronics maker also known as Foxconn.

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4 Comments

  1. They licensed their name for use by a Chinese company that makes TVs for the low end of the market. How does putting a SHARP badge plate on a low quality TV infringe on patents? Unless they specified the name couldn't be used qn anything below a certain price point. If that were true, it sounds more like it would be a breach of contract lawsuit, not patent infringement.

    SHARP just can't stand that they are going to be competing against their own name when they re-introduce a high end set in the North American market and are now trying some wasteful action that will cost taxpayers money, while they avoid the costs of litigation.

  2. They turned there manufacturing over to Foxconn what in the world do they expect. They also decided it was a great idea to have the same company that had workers jumping out windows that had to install suicide nets! Sharp has been suffering from low sales for some time and now that Foxconn is building Sharp TV’s there is no way I will be buying there TV’s. I for sure would never purchase a cheap quality Chinese TV from Hisense. But unless Hisense is using Sharp technology in there product I do not see them having a case against them. I am sure if Hisense is kicking out low quality units then maybe Sharp should be looking to get out of there contract with Hisense.

  3. When I spoke with a Sharp sales rep just after the license deal but before the new model year, he actually told me that Hisense’s plan was to make Hisense the higher-end label and Sharp the lower-end. It’s also important to note that Sharp/Foxconn announced one year later that they were getting out of manufacturing LCD panels, which prompted Samsung to file a lawsuit against them as they were Samsung’s main panel provider and ended up sourcing panels from their fierce rival, LG. So very little of this makes any sense.

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