LG Suffers Setback at PTO Board in LCD Dispute with Chi Mei

Scott Daniels | July 11, 2012

The infringement action filed by LG Philips LCD against Chi Mei Optoelectronics and AU Optronics in Delaware is scheduled to go to trial at the beginning of November.  LG sued Chi Mei and AU in 2006 for infringement of four LCD patents, including U.S. Patent No. 6,815,321, claiming a method for forming a thin film resistor.  The resistors are used in laptops, monitors and television sets. 

In the meantime, however, a reexamination against the ‘321 has been winding its way through the Patent Office.  And this morning, the Patent Office Board of Appeals affirmed the examiner’s prior art rejections of certain ‘321 claims.  Essentially, the Board found that the various declarations filed by LG attacking the rejections failed to address the relevant disclosure of the references or lacked corroboration. 

Still, the impact this ruling will have on the infringement action is not clear.  On one hand, the prior art raised by Chi Mei and AU in Delaware substantially overlaps the prior art raised in the reexamination.  On the other hand, LG asserts claims 1, 10 and 11 in the court action, but only claims 7-10, 12, 14, 16-20 and 22 are in reexamination, and LG has amended claim 10 in the reexamination.  Moreover, no reexamination requests have been filed against the remaining three LG patents. 

We will follow closely how Chi Mei and AU try to use the favorable decision in the weeks leading up to the November trial.

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