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Surface-conduction electron-emitted displays continue to face delays

Due to an ongoing lawsuit between Canon and Nano-Proprietary, Toshiba may be forced to suspend development and manufacturing of SED, or surface-conduction electron-emitted display.

The pending lawsuit revolves around Nano-Proprietary's patent of the SED technology and its licensing with Canon, Inc.  Applied Nanotech, a subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary, licensed out their SED technology for Canon to manufacture exclusively -- not a Toshiba-Canon partnership.  

That didn't stop Toshiba-Canon from announcing production would start this past July, even though the joint venture did not have a production facility.  Japan Today reported earlier this morning the groundbreaking on the Toshiba-Canon SED facility will likely be delayed due to the legal battle between Toshiba-Canon and Nano-Proprietary.

The suit was filed in April of 2005 (PDF) with Nano-Proprietary seeking a declaratory judgment that the manufacturing of the SED by the joint venture of Toshiba-Canon, Inc. does not meet the details of the non-exclusive 1999 patent license agreement granted to Canon, Inc. by SIDT. SIDT changed its name to Nano-Proprietary shortly after the agreement was reached.

With billions in potential income resting on the outcome of the litigation, Toshiba and Canon, Inc. hope for a quick resolution.  A trial date has been set for May of '07, but the two companies are said to be discussing possible settlements. A motion to expedite the ruling was denied in November 2006.

During a press release on December 20, Toshiba America said the 55-inch SED demo would not be at CES 2007.  No official information was released about why the display was cancelled, but representatives from Toshiba stated in notes sent to appointment-only viewers of the demo that the delay was neither due to technical nor business-related issues.

Developers claim that the SED technology is able to deliver response times under a millisecond.  Another one of SEDs advantages include the ability to produce TV's over 40 inches in diameter that are only a few centimeters thick.  The big selling point for the SED is the power consumption is equal to about one thirds that of an LCD and can support full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels).

Expected launch of the Toshiba SED was scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2007, but Toshiba President and Chief Executive Atsutoshi Nishida since stated that he wanted the company release SED displays in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics.





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