Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) Innolux Corp., one of the largest flat panel makers in Taiwan, has filed suit in two courts in China against a Chinese competitor for infringing on 17 of its patents and is demanding that it end the practice.
It was the first time a Taiwanese flat panel company has launched a patent battle in China.
Local media cited Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Innolux’s parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., as saying his group could no longer tolerate the patent infringement of Chinese firms any longer.
In a statement released Monday, Innolux said it has filed suit against HKC Corp. with the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court and the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court on Feb. 12 for stealing its flat screen production technology.
According to Innolux, HKC subsidiary Chongqing HKC Optoelectronics Technology Co. has mass produced flat panels using Innolux patents without permission and supplied them to Hefei HKC Technology Co., another HKC unit, to assemble TVs and monitors for sale in China.
HKC poached engineers from Innolux’s plant in the Southern Taiwan Science Park and hired them in 2015 to get the Taiwanese company’s knowhow, local media reports said.
Innolux later discovered that HKC’s Chongqing unit was using its patents to begin mass production in the second quarter of 2017, and it launched an investigation in September 2017 to gather sufficient evidence of patent infringement before suing HKC, the reports said.
Innolux Chairman Wang Jyh-chao (王志超) said in the statement that Innolux is demanding that HKC completely halt its illegal use of Innolux’s technology and destroy all of the products made based on the patents.
“Innolux will not allow anyone else to steal its intellectual property rights,” Wang said. “Innolux is urging Chinese enterprises to respect its IPR to maintain a fair business environment.
“Innolux is also hoping the courts in China will lay down fair rulings in the case to correct the situation,” Wang said.
The Taiwanese company said it always respects IPR and business secrets and has put considerable effort into educating its employees to abide by trade secrets laws.
The local media said HKC is the fourth largest flat panel maker in China after receiving intensive support from the Chinese government to transform it into a major flat screen supplier from a contract TV assembler.
HKC set up an office in Taiwan to contact and poach local talent and offer compensation that was up to three times higher than what Taiwanese employers paid, local media has said.
(By Pan Chi-yi and Frances Huang)