Samsung Display vowed Monday to continue its legal fight with LG Display after the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office charged 11 former senior and low-ranking technicians over involvement in the leak of cutting-edge OLED technology to LG.
``This is intolerable. All key OLED technologies were leaked to LG. This is a serious crime. Samsung Display is seeking compensation from LG and we will continue civil lawsuits against LG Display,’’ said Shim Jae-boo, chief communications officer at Samsung Display in a briefing at the company’s main office.
Shim insisted top LG management organized the ``crime’’ and stressed Samsung expects a sincere apology from LG Display.
``Samsung Display invested 1.2 trillion won for the development of
Lee Bang-soo, Head of LG’s business
technology and it cost us billions of dollars in lost sales,’’ the executive said, adding LG ``illegally scouted’’ the technicians.
According to prosecutors, information on the technology was sent via e-mails on seven separate occasions. A 45-year-old former technician only identified by his surname Cho, who left Samsung for personal reasons, plotted the leak as a means to join LG Display.
All major display makers are migrating into thinner and brighter OLED screens to find breakthroughs in the saturated LCD market. Samsung applies W-OLED technology, while LG Display is developing WRGB-OLED technology.
Samsung was angered as its attempt to sweep the global three-dimensional (3D) TV market with battery-powered glasses failed after LG released cheaper screen-based 3D technology. ``This is a matter of pride. Samsung wants to get a lead in the next-generation flat-screen market. Samsung needs a target,’’ said an executive from a top-tier component supplier.
A few hours later, LG Display held a separate press briefing and insisted it doesn’t plan to apologize to “unfounded and groundless allegations.”
``LG Display wants an apology from Samsung Display. Investigation is still under way. Samsung wants to influence the investigation by releasing false media reports. This is silly,’’ said Lee Bang-soo, the head of LG's business support group.
``No LG Display officials were charged. Samsung said top LG management were involved the scouting. But prosecutors excluded LG Display’s human resources department chief from charges. Logically, this shows that LG did not organize this,’’ Lee said, adding the company will take Samsung to court.
In the briefing, LG said the charged personnel tried to find out information about its rival company and there was no evidence of a leak. ``We don’t need Samsung OLED TV technology as our WRGB-OLED technology is far better in terms of cost and other specifics,’’ said the LG executive.
Currently, OLED displays are being used in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The two firms will release their massive 55-inch OLED TVs at the upcoming IFA trade fair in Berlin, Germany, from late August to early September.