SED, which stands for surface-conduction electron-emitter display, is the result of a joint venture between Canon and Toshiba. While Toshiba has already manufactured demo units and has showcased them to many CES goers in 2006, that will not be the case due to some legal issues that Canon is sorting out. Canon is working with Nano-Proprietary (Nano) to make sure all the legal aspects of SED is taken care of so Toshiba can be set loose to show SED prototypes to eager folks in the US. Nano, according to its website, has extensive intellectual property (IP) regarding SED technology and in 1999 signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Canon that made Nano $5.6 million rich. However, the agreement between Canon and Nano excluded the use of electron emissions from carbon nanotubes. The Canon license also does not allow Toshiba to access Nano’s IP and the two, Canon and Nano, are in court over the issue. According to the background information found in the ruling on Canon’s motion for summary judgment, it seems as though Canon was in negotiations with Toshiba to develop SED while also negotiating FED (field emission display) technology that is an overarching technology that includes SED from Nano. For detailed information on the case, have a look here (PDF).