OLED patents

Solas files a lawsuit against Apple saying it infringes upon its OLED patents

Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED has filed a lawsuit in the US (Texas) against Apple for patent infringements. The lawsuit mentions three patents (USPTO# 6072450, 7446338 and 7573068) that relate to the OLED stack, structure and circuitry (for example one of the patents relates to the formation of a backplane on a polyimide substrate).

Solas OLED team photo

Apple is of course not the producer of the OLED displays - but Solas says that Apple is accused of "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing products that infringe the claims" of its patents. Apple's OLED suppliers are Samsung (for the iPhone and MacBook Pro Touch bar devices) and LG Display (for the Apple Watch display).

Korea to restrict OLED equipment exports deals as it fears competition from China

In November 2018 it was reported that South Korean prosecutors indicted a group of 11 executives and employees of Korea-based Toptec, a Samsung Electronics supplier, accusing them with leaking Samsung's flexible OLED technology to Chinese display makers.

According to new reports from Korea, the South Korean government has now decided to restrict the export of OLED production equipment. Korea will designate OLED equipment as a "national core technology" which means that any export, acquisition or merger deals will require government approval. Under the current law, display panel design, process, manufacturing and drivers are already designated as national core technologies, and Korea wants to add production equipment as well to prevent another case like Toptec from happening.

Samsung patents a horizontal rollable OLED TV design

LG Display has already demonstrated rollable OLED TVs (and according to reports it aims to release the first such TV to the market in 2019) - but Samsung has been left behind as its current LCD-QLED TV technology choice does not enable rollable TVs.

Samsung horizontal-rollable OLED TV patent image

LGD's prototype rollable TV (unveiled in 2018) rolls vertically, inside a single case at the bottom. According to a new patent recently awarded in the US (USPTO #10,162,387) Samsung has a different design in mind - a TV that rolls horizontally, as you can see in the image above.

South Korea company charged with leaking SDC's flexible OLEDs secret to Chinese display makers

South Korean prosecutors indicted a group of 11 executives and employees of Korea-based Toptec, a Samsung Electronics supplier, accusing them with leaking Samsung's flexible OLED technology to Chinese display makers. The group includes Toptec's president and managing director.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Toptec's executives supplied the stolen information to four companies in China - including BOE and CSoT. The cost of the information was 15.5 billion Won - or almost $14 million USD. Toptec produces display production automated equipment.

Chinese and Korean researchers allegedly tried to sell SDC's OLED technology secrets to China

The South Korean prosecution has indicted several officials that allegedly tried to sell OLED technology secrets to China. These officials include Korean and Chinese researchers - and also a professor at a national Korean research institution.

The Korean prosecution says that the suspects sold 5,130 files containing OLED technologies owned by Samsung Display. Some of these officials worked at a local contractor of SDC. They say that the officials were offered around $180,000 from a Chinese company - in exchange for joining the company and delivering OLED technology files.

Motorola patents a technology to fix low-temperature foldable display deformation

Motorola has been granted an interesting patent that aims to solve screen deformation with foldable displays. Motorola says that one of the issues with foldable displays is that they deform in low temperatures.

Motorola heating-hinge foldable OLED patent photo

Motorola suggests using a temperature sensor that detects when the display is deformed, and then the hinge is heated so that the display is automatically corrected. This could be used to create foldable OLEd phones that bend both inward and outwards, and can work with more than one hinge (so that you can fold a display several times).

Solas OLED expands its patent portfolio and research team

This is a sponsored post by Solas OLED

Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED says that its team has tripled its size since its establishment two years ago, and Solas continues to expand its electrical engineering and research team. Solar has also been granted a number of new and fundamental patents - relating to OLED design and driver circuitry.

Solas OLED team photo

Solas OLED will attend SID DisplayWeek 2018 (May 22-25, Los Angeles). If you're interested in contacting Solas to schedule a meeting and discuss their OLED solutions, click here.

UDC and Samsung Display sign new long-term PHOLED materials and technology supply agreements

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED material supply and license agreements with Samsung Display. UDC will continue to supply its PHOLED phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to Samsung Display for use in its OLED displays. The agreements are scheduled to run through December 31, 2022, and may be extended for an additional two-year period.

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC did not disclose the financial terms of these new agreements, but we do know that Samsung will pay a license fee throughout the agreement period. The previous UDC-SDC agreement ended on December 31st 2017, but for the past month and a half the two companies still conducted business of course as SDC's OLED production was not halted.

UDC did not yet sign a new agreement with SDC, which expired on December 31 2017

In August 2011 Samsung signed a long-term license agreement with Universal Display which allowed Samsung to acquire and use UDC's patented phosphorescent OLED materials. That important agreement (which generated hundreds of millions in revenues for UDC over the years) expired on December 31, 2017.

UDC announced yesterday that it is in on-going discussions regarding a formal long-term extension of these agreements (the patent license agreement and the OLED material purchase agreement). UDC expects SDC to continue buying materials during these discussions. No time frame has been established for the completion of these discussions.

UDC and BOE sign a long-term OLED agreement

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED agreements with BOE Technology Group. Under these agreements, UDC will supply phosphorescent OLED materials to BOE. UDC and BOE signed their first agreement in 2014 and it is great to see these evolve into long-term agreements.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab in October 2017. BOE's B7 fab is the company's first flexible AMOLED line and actual real mass production will probably begin at about Q1 2018. The full capacity is 48,000 substrates per month, but this will only be achieved in the first half of 2019.