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Japanese Retailer Withdraws Sharp Ban
Jun 11, 2004
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Japanese-based retailer Aeon said it will resume business with Sharp Corp., after saying it would ban the company's products after it sued a Taiwanese rival.

Sharp filed the lawsuit in Japan over an alleged patent violation committed by TECO Electric & Machinery Co.'s sales unit, Sankyo Co. Sharp says TECO used patented Sharp technology for fixing pixel flaws in liquid-crystal displays for televisions, and wants Sankyo to halt TV sales.

Aeon responded by announcing plans to suspend all business with Sharp. After Sharp apologized to Aeon and said it wouldn't hurt the retailer's brand image, the retailer decided not to follow through with the ban, the two companies said in a statement. Aeon criticized Sharp for the lawsuit and complained that the legal skirmish had damaged Aeon's corporate brand.

Business between Aeon and Sharp is estimated at 7 billion yen (approx. U.S. $63.8 million) a year. Aeon sells Sharp LCD TVs, air conditioners, washing machines, and other home electronic appliances. (AP)

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