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No more BMW and Audi sales in South Korea soon?

By SYF77 on 04 Oct 2011

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Electronics companies are amongst the fiercest rivals when it comes to protecting their patents. That’s why in the world of high technology, lawsuits are flying everywhere. Now, LG Electronics and its subsidiary, the component-making LG Innotek Co., have filled a lawsuit with a South Korean court seeking to block BMW and Audi from selling their cars in the country. What is happening is that the two German luxury carmakers have been caught in the middle of a patent war between LG and Osram over LED technologies. LG seeks to stop the German automakers' vehicles from being sold because they are equipped with Osram lighting systems.

“LG sued Osram at the Seoul Central District Court for purportedly infringing on LG-owned patents such as LED chips and packaging technologies that are widely used in LED light bulbs and cars”, LG spokesman Lim Young-min told the Korean Times daily. “Because local branches of BMW and Audi are using Osram’s LED applications that infringe on LG patterns, we are seeking a complete ban on BMW and Audi car sales in South Korea”, the LG spokesperson added.

The situation gets even more complicated because Osram was the one to draw first blood by demanding that LG continued to pay loyalties for patents it used over several years. LG refused to do so having developed its own LED technologies and counter-sued Osram, dragging Audi and BMW into the middle of this, presumably as another form of pressure. BMW was the best-selling imported brand in 2010 with 16,798 vehicles sold in the country. I am not confident that LG will be successful in their call for the ban as this may escalate up to the government level of both Germany and South Korea.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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