Monday, November 29, 2004

SOUTH KOREA'S LG ELECTRONICS STRIKES BACK: South Korea on Monday slapped a temporary ban on the import and sale of plasma display panels made by Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., officials said. The latest measure came after South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. asked authorities earlier this month to investigate Panasonic Korea Ltd., Matsushita's sales company in South Korea, for alleged patent violations. Matsushita, meanwhile, had earlier asked a Tokyo court to halt sales in Japan of the South Korean company's plasma display panels also because of alleged patent violations. The dispute underlines the growing competition in the electronics industry between older Japanese companies and up-and-coming South Korean makers.

- This has to be one of the ugliest patent disputes in recent years. Both companies have been involving their respective governments in tweaking the other side, and some of the comments made by politicos suggest that there are racial undertones to this matter. It will be interesting to see if either side backs off. If not, this is going to be a whopper.

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