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Sharp sues Hisense to get its name off low-end TVs

The lawsuit accuses Hisense of slapping Sharp's brand on poor-quality televisions sold in the US.

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Sharp wants its name back in the US market.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Sharp wants to get back into the US television game. 

Amid a financial crunch, Sharp in 2015 licensed the right to use its name in the US to Chinese electronics maker Hisense. But now, Sharp alleges that Hisense is damaging its brand by slapping its name on poor-quality televisions. Sharp filed a lawsuit against Hisense in a San Francisco-based state court. 

The deal was originally struck for Hisense to use the Sharp name until 2020, but Sharp has been trying to get the name back. 

The Wall Street Journal reported on the lawsuit overnight. 

Hisense denied the allegation. 

Hisense is in full compliance with the trademark license agreement and Sharp's attempt to terminate the agreement is of no effect," the company said in an e-mailed statement. "Hisense will continue to manufacture and sell quality televisions under the Sharp licensed brands." 

A spokesman for Sharp wasn't available for comment.