* Samsung seeks sales ban on infringed LCD devices
* Samsung shares down 2.5 pct in a weak market (Adds comments, names of AU’s clients)
By Miyoung Kim
SEOUL, June 2 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Taiwan’s AU Optronics Corp and some of its customers for importing and selling flat-screen devices it says infringe upon a number of its patents.
Samsung, which vies for the top flat-screen position with local rival LG Display Co Ltd , said in a statement on Thursday that it was seeking an order prohibiting the import and sale of infringing LCD devices such as televisions, computer monitors and notebooks.
Patent disputes are common in the technology sector, especially for flat screens and semiconductors, as makers seek to protect their newest technologies from being commoditised and exploited by rivals. But most are settled out of court as big companies prefer to avoid long fights and patented technology can be out of date by the time a case is over.
Samsung has also filed two similar suits in U.S. District Court of Delaware and the District Court for the Northern District of California.
“To protect its investment and customers, Samsung has taken, and will continue to take, action against any unauthorised use of its patented technology,” the South Korean company said.
By 0045 GMT, Samsung shares were down 2.5 percent, lagging a 1.8 percent drop in the wider market .
AU Optronics clients included in the suits are computer maker Acer Inc , Sanyo Electric (Taiwan) Co Ltd , and electronics firm BenQ Corp, a Samsung spokesman said.
In April, AU, the world’s No.4 flat screen maker, and Japan’s Sharp Corp signed a patent cross-licensing deal and agreed to withdraw all lawsuits they had filed against each other. [ID:nL3E7FF14C]
Samsung settled similar disputes with Sharp in February last year.
“The company is in the process of reviewing the case and will take the necessary steps to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders,” said AU spokesman Hsiao Yawen.
Samsung, Asia’s most valuable technology company with a market value of about $137 billion, is in a separate legal battle with Apple Inc over mobile patent infringements.
Samsung counter-sued Apple in April after Apple alleged that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets “slavishly” copied its products. [ID:nL3E7FM04H] (Additional reporting by Clare Jim in TAIPEI; Editing by Ken Wills, David Chance and Chris Lewis)