US government blocks imports of Sharp TVs

ITC rules that Sharp violated a patent held by rival Samsung Electronics

The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a decision Wednesday that blocks the U.S. import of LCD panels and LCD televisions made by Sharp, ruling that the company violated a patent held by rival Samsung Electronics.

The exclusion order, which is subject to review by the U.S. president, blocks Sharp and other companies from importing LCD panels that use the technology without a license from Samsung. Televisions and monitors that use these displays also cannot be imported.

"We're considering an appeal," said Miyuki Nakayama, a Sharp spokeswoman in Tokyo.

Sharp has not yet seen the full ruling so hasn't made a final decision, Nakayama said, adding that Sharp TVs remain on sale as normal in the U.S. pending the decision on an appeal.

The ITC exclusion order upholds an earlier decision by an administrative law judge that one Samsung LCD patent was violated by Sharp, but it overturns the judge's finding that Sharp violated a second Samsung patent.

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