Samsung LED settlement worth $150 million, nanotechnology company says Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Samsung Electronics employee walks past LED lighting drums on display to visitors in a showroom at the company’s headquarters in Seoul on October 28, 2011. Samsung Electronics Co overtook Apple Inc as the world’s leading smartphone maker in

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – Samsung Electronics (OTC:) Co has agreed to pay $150 million to British nanotechnology firm Nanoco Technologies to settle patent claims over technology used in Samsung’s (KS:) LED TVs, Nanoco and an investor in its cases said on Friday.

Nanoco and Chicago-based litigation finance firm GLS Capital said in a statement that the settlement, which includes a license agreement and “transfer of certain patents,” resolves litigation in the United States, Germany and China.

Samsung and Nanoco told a Texas federal court ahead of trial last month that they had agreed to settle the dispute, but no terms were disclosed at the time.

Samsung representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nanoco quantum dots improve the backlight of LED displays without the use of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium. It sued Samsung in 2020, claiming the Korean tech giant copied its technology after receiving samples during discussions about a potential collaboration.

The Texas lawsuit alleges that Samsung began incorporating Nanoco technology into high-end QLED TVs launched in 2017.

Third-party funding of lawsuits has become more common in recent years, although details of specific investments are rarely made public. Critics such as the US Chamber of Commerce have warned that the practice obscures who is bringing the lawsuits and promotes unnecessary litigation. Supporters say it can level the playing field and promote justice.

Nanoc CEO Brian Tenner said in a statement that GLS Capital’s funding “allowed us to pursue our claims on an equal footing against a much larger opponent.”

GLS co-founder Adam Gill said Nanoco would receive more than 60% of the proceeds from the settlement, but declined to offer further details on their financing agreement. He said the company was “proud” to support Nanoco in the dispute.

GLS subsidiary Celerity IP is separately managing Taiwanese technology company Asustek Computer Inc’s efforts to strengthen its portfolio of 3G, 4G and 5G wireless patents, Gill said.

The case is Nanoco Technologies Ltd v. Samsung Electronics Co, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:20-cv-00038.

For Nanoco: Michael Newman, Jim Wodarski, Michael Renaud, Tom Wintner and Matt Galica of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo

For Samsung: Greg Arovas, Ed Donovan and Jeanne Heffernan of Kirkland & Ellis

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Samsung and Nanoco settle patent dispute over LED TVs just ahead of trial

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