NOT EVEN A HAIR'S BREADTH away from being embroiled in a price fixing investigation, LG is being investigated for alleged patent infringement.
The Korean hardware maker was implicated in LCD price fixing allegations last week that could see it join manufacturers like Sharp and Hitachi as defendants in court. Now LG is also under investigation by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) for allegedly infringing patents held by Vizio, a small Taiwanese company that builds LCD TVs.
Vizio has asked the ITC to investigate LG over an issue with digital TV's that can receive signals via cable delivery systems. At the moment no specific patent has been identified but Vizio's complaint falls under section 337 of the Tariff Act. This suggests that LG has allegedly infringed patents in certain flat panel TVs and components.
The ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. It will assign the case to one of its six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.
"The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission," the ITC said in a statement.
Vizio has requested a US Customs exclusion with a side platter of cease and desist to stop LG from making any more of the allegedly infringing products. The ITC has 45 days to investigate and up to 60 days to file any charges against LG. µ