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Judge rules against Canon, Inc., Nano-Proprietary has option to terminate SED agreement

The legal battle between Canon, Inc. and Nano-Proprietary, may have reached an end on Thursday.  A U.S. court ruled against Japan's Canon, Inc. in the licensing dispute over Nano-Proprietary's surface-conduction electron-emitter displays.

Nano-Proprietary now has the right to terminate its license agreement with Canon it had made in 1999, according to the ruling by Judge Samuel Sparks of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The licensing dispute was triggered when Canon licensed its agreement on the technology with Toshiba Corp. for manufacturing.  The venture was then deemed an infringement on the agreement between Canon and Nano-Proprietary.  Nano-Proprietary claimed that the licensing deal did not extend to Toshiba Corp.

Before the legal battle panned out, Canon announced it would buy out all of Toshiba's shares in the joint venture, Nano-Proprietary stuck to its guns, stating that the decision would not change the company's stance in the litigation. 

"Canon's recent restructuring of SED as a wholly owned subsidiary is ineffective to prevent termination because this effort to cure the breach was not undertaken within a reasonable time.  It occurred more than a year and a half after Canon was on notice of its breach." commented Judge Sparks on Canon's move to prevent the termination of the agreement.

The production of the SED display was anticipated to boost Canon's revenue, with the company trying to get its foot in the door of the $84 billion flat-panel display market.  Because of its new presence in the scene, Canon had extended out its license to the SED technology in order to acquire more experienced flat-panel manufacturers

According to Reuters, the Tokyo-based company reassessed its plan to build a 180 billion Yen ($1.48 billion USD) factory in Western Japan for flat-panel mass production.  Even with the latest news in the lawsuit, Canon still aims to produce SED panels at a smaller site and wants to keep Japan availability for the fourth quarter of this year.

Nano-Proprietary stated last month in a press release that even though Canon had infringed on the license agreement, the Texas-based company would be willing to sign a new agreement post-litigation.



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Needs broader licensing
By OddTSi on 2/25/2007 2:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm wondering if Canon is the only one interested in this or if they simply signed an exclusive licensing deal. If it's the latter maybe this will be the opportunity to license this to many companies. That would be best for us (potential customers) since it would provide lots of competition to help improve the technology faster and bring the prices down faster.




RE: Needs broader licensing
By 13Gigatons on 2/26/2007 12:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
The 5.6 million payout to Nano was non-exclusive which means any other tv maker could produce sed tv's but you have to realize they have already invested billions in LCD and Plasma and it might not make sense to produce sed tv's on large scale or even a small scale.

With Canon it was their first push into the TV market so it made perfect sense.


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