Samsung HQ raided over alleged theft of OLED technology

Police in South Korea searched the company's headquarters on Monday as part of an investigation into the alleged technology theft, Bloomberg says.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
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An LG OLED television.
An LG OLED TV. LG Display

Samsung found itself the target of a police raid in South Korea on Monday over the alleged theft of OLED display panel technology.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency investigated Samsung's headquarters in Asan, South Korea, in an attempt to find documents related to OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, Bloomberg reported late yesterday.

Police are trying to determine whether Samsung is tangled up in an alleged leak of OLED technology documents by partners of LG Display, a Samsung spokesman told Bloomberg. No details were revealed as to who called the police, but LG said it didn't contact them.

"The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves," an LG Display spokesman told Bloomberg.

Samsung denied any involvement in the matter.

"We have no reason to steal other companies' technology, as we have the world's best OLED technology," a Samsung spokeswoman said to Bloomberg.

Samsung and LG, which are two of the world's leading OLED display makers, have a history of bad blood and legal skirmishes between them.

Last year, 11 current and former Samsung Mobile employees were arrested on charges that they stole and leaked details to LG about a Samsung AMOLED TV. Six of LG's own workers also allegedly were involved in the theft of Samsung's OLED technology in 2010 and 2011.

Last September, LG filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung over OLED technology. In November, Samsung responded by countersuing its archrival. But the two companies appeared to shake hands in February, promising to settle their patent dispute out of court.

CNET contacted both Samsung and LG for comment and will update the story with any further information.