As the legal dispute between Samsung Display and China's BOE continues, Samsung has taken the next step. As October was coming to an end, the Korean tech giant filed a complaint against BOE to the United States International Trade Commission (ITC).
The complaint filed on October 31 alleges that BOE violated “unfair methods of competition” laws and infringed on Samsung's intellectual properties for OLED display modules and components (via Reuters).
Samsung Display and BOE have been fighting each other ever since BOE fell under ITC investigation at the beginning of 2023 after Samsung Display tried to stop wholesalers from commercializing “cloned” OLED panels in the USA. These panels were manufactured illegally in China based on stolen Samsung patents.
At that time, Samsung Display did not attack BOE directly, but rather, it went against 17 wholesalers dealing with OLED products manufactured using stolen patents and technologies. It just so happened that BOE was fitting the bill, and that prompted the US ITC to start an investigation targeting the Chinese display manufacturer.
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BOE didn't take kindly to the ITC's move, but its response, several months later, was directed straight at Samsung and many of its branches – not just Samsung Display.
In what appeared to be a desperate attempt at intimidation, BOE launched a barrage of lawsuits against Samsung in China. It sued branches including Semiconductor, Investment, Vision, and other subsidiaries.
Following this lawsuit barrage, in July, reports said that Samsung Display was getting ready to fire back at BOE.
Samsung might be winning the OLED battle in and outside the court of law
Now, according to the latest ITC documents, Samsung has filed a complaint directly against BOE for unfair methods of competition and IP infringement. This time, it's different. The company isn't targeting wholesalers but BOE directly.
As a display manufacturer, BOE found itself in hot waters several times before. The panel maker has been desperately trying to win Apple as a customer, but things aren't going so smoothly.
At one point, BOE tried to fool Apple by shipping iPhone displays that didn't meet the US tech giant's specifications. Apple caught on to this, and although it didn't file a lawsuit against BOE, it suspended it from trying to earn a spot as a supplier.
A couple of years later, BOE failed Apple's quality tests for iPhone 15 OLED panels, which meant Apple had to order more displays from Samsung.
As for Samsung Display's recent complaint against BOE, the Korean media claims that the trial is scheduled for January 22, 2024.