German Manufacturer Osram Files Slew Of Patent Complaints

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — German lighting manufacturer Osram has filed additional patent infringement complaints against South Korean companies amid a global wave of intellectual property disputes in the technology sector.

Munich-based Osram GmbH, a unit of German industrial engineering giant Siemens AG, and Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH said Monday in a statement that they have recently filed new complaints and legal actions against Samsung and LG units.

They include a filing with the Seoul Central District Court alleging infringement of Osram patents that calls for the South Korean companies to stop using Osram LED, or light emitting diode, technology without authorization. Also among the actions was a complaint against LG Innotek Co. filed with the Korea Trade Commission over alleged infringement of four LED patents and seeking a ban on exports from South Korea of some LG Innotek products.

"We respect the property rights of other companies and expect the same from other market participants," Aldo Kamper, the CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors, said in the statement.

LG Innotek and Samsung LED Co. have also filed various complaints against Osram alleging patent infringement.

The spat over intellectual property for lighting is playing out in South Korea, Germany, Japan, China and the United States.

LG Innotek said Monday in an e-mail that it "would take action after checking out Osram's petition contents." Samsung LED had no immediate comment.

Stefan Schmidt, Osram's head of media relations, said the latest court action was taken Friday, while the complaint with the KTC was filed in late July.

"Osram was forced to take legal action against LG and Samsung in order to stop the unauthorized use of its technology as LG and Samsung refuse to sign any license agreements or pay royalties," he said in an e-mail.

Patent disputes are common in the technology industry, though they seldom lead to market disruptions. Disputes can take months or even years to resolve and often end with payments of licensing fees.

Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. are involved in a high-profile dispute over smartphone and tablet computer technology. Earlier this month, South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. and Japan's Sony Corp. said they had agreed to end a patent dispute.