Sharp LCD Panels Banned from US Import

Sharp‘s LCD panels are banned from being imported into the US. The US International Trade Commission issued a ruling that bans the importation of Sharp LCD panels. Why? Sharp LCD panels allegedly infringe one of Samsung‘s wide viewing angle patents. Both Samsung and Sharp use a base technology called VA or Vertical Alignment for their higher-end wide viewing angle LCDs. Samsung’s version is called PVA for Patterned Vertical Alignment and Sharp’s is called ASV for Advanced Super View.

Because Sharp is heavily vertically integrated most of its AQUOS line of LCD TVs use its own LCD panels. This ban will most likely affect many other brands that make use of Sharp’s LCD panels. The ban is subject to review by President Obama and the case can be appealed.

If this ban is enforced Sharp’s performance in the US will be significantly affected. With demand already down considerably from a year ago most LCD TV brands are doing all they can to incentivize customers to purchase LCD TVs. But if Sharp can’t even get its LCD TVs inside the US border it will be at a huge disadvantage. Most likely Sharp will appeal right away. Manufacturing plants in Mexico as well as in China might experience a build up of LCD TV inventory made with Sharp LCD panels.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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