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Fujitsu sues Samsung over plasma TVs

Fujitsu files suit in U.S. and Japanese courts against Samsung, alleging that the rival display maker has violated patents for its plasma technology.

Japan's Fujitsu announced on Wednesday that it has initiated legal action against South Korea's Samsung over alleged infringements on patents related to its plasma display panels.

In suits filed in the U.S. Federal District Court in Los Angeles and in the Tokyo District Court, Fujitsu is seeking an injunction against future imports of certain Samsung monitors as well as an unspecified amount in compensation.

Plasma display panels (PDPs) are a key component in flat-panel televisions, a market that's experiencing substantial growth. According to research firm DisplaySearch, global shipments of PDPs in 2003 swelled 2.4 times, compared with the previous year, to almost 1.8 million.

In particular, Korean companies LG Electronics and Samsung have been aggressively boosting manufacturing capacity and display sizes. Samsung's display unit, Samsung SDI, introduced in February an 80-inch plasma television, which it claimed is the world's largest such device.

Fujitsu, whose joint venture with Hitachi is the market leader in plasma displays, said in a statement that Samsung had rejected its previous requests for "reasonable" settlement.

"Fujitsu has invested over 30 years and very significant resources in developing commercially viable PDP technology," said Masanobu Katoh, the president of Fujitsu's intellectual property group. "We cannot permit others to exploit these valuable inventions without appropriate compensation."

Aloysius Choong of CNETAsia reported from Singapore.