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Tokyo Accepts Matsushita's Demand to Suspend LG PDP Imports
Nov 12, 2004
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The Tokyo Customs office has accepted a demand by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. that imports of plasma display panels (PDP) produced by LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea be suspended due to its alleged patent infringement, Matsushita officials said.

The step will enable customs houses across Japan to bar LG Electronics-made PDPs from entering the Japanese market for 2 years, the officials said.

Earlier this month, Matsushita filed for a court injunction to halt sales in Japan of the South Korean firm's plasma displays, claiming the maker infringed its patents.

The customs authorities will start examining whether LG Electronics has violated Matsushita's patents following the import suspension, the officials said.

Matsushita accuses LG Electronics of violating its patents on technology to dissipate heat that is generated when PDPs are activated.

A Matsushita spokesman said the company believes the customs office has endorsed Matsushita's claim on the patent infringement.

The Japan unit of LG Electronics said the import suspension will not affect its earnings, but it will continue to firmly deal with the matter.

LG Electronics has taken a counteraction against Matsushita's legal action by accusing the Japanese firm's unit in South Korea of violating its patent on different technologies for PDPs in a suit filed with the Seoul Central District Court.

The lawsuit requested the South Korean government restrict imports of Matsushita products in question in South Korea.

South Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy told the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on November 4 that if Japanese customs move to halt imports of the LG products, the matter could develop into a political issue between the two countries. (Kyodo News)

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