In a stunning development, Samsung has accused its rival LG of committing industrial espionage. Samsung Mobile Display, the wing of Samsung Electronics responsible for manufacturing displays, is blaming LG for the leak of its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen technology.
On Sunday, 11 individuals were arrested in connection with stealing and leaking key technologies related to OLED displays manufactured by Samsung. According to the indictment, six of them are current or former researchers at Samsung, one is a sub-contractor from LG Display, and other five are executives at LG Display.
Samsung is demanding an apology as well as corrective action from its South Korean competitor. It is claiming damages worth “trillions of won” (1 trillion won is slightly less than 0.9 billion USD). “Executives of LG Display, which lacks OLED technology and related human resources, took the lead in this criminal act in order to overcome their shortcomings as quickly as possible,” it said in a statement.
LG is not taking the allegations lying down. It is threatening to sue Samsung Display for defamation. “We do not need Samsung’s technology, which works under a totally different display system,” it added. Samsung currently claims to have a 97% market share in the OLED screen market. If its allegations are proven in court, LG will have to contend with steep fines besides having egg on its face.