German OLED material firm Novaled has nullified three patents related to OLED registered in South Korea owned by rival Solus Advanced Materials, TheElec has learned.
Novaled is Samsung’s subsidiary as its affiliates Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI and Samsung Display together own 100% of its shares.
South Korea’s Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board ruled in May that Solus Advanced Material’s patents were invalid.
Novaled has filed three suits for individual patents between 2021 and 2022.
Solus Advanced Materials has appealed against the decision in June.
The three patents relate to electron transportation layers in OLED.
On one of the patents, 2216992, Solus Advanced Materials has filed a suit to limit the range of the patent.
The South Korean chemical firm has previously stated that it was the sole supplier aETL, or advanced Electron Transporting Layer, a kind of electron transportation layer that the company claimed improves the efficiency of blue OLED by 30%.
However, for Samsung Display’s new OLED material set M13, the company is procuring aETL from LG Chem.
Solus’ patent 1641404 related to its aETL is not one of the three patents in dispute.
However, they related to the company’s OLED materials for large OLED panels, sources said.
This is significant as Samsung Display currently procures its electron transportation layer for its quantum dot (QD)-OLED panels, its large OLED panels aimed at TVs, from Novaled.
If the patents’ invalidation is finalized, Novaled will be free to use the technologies, further blocking Solus’ chance to enter this supply chain.
According to UBI Research, Solus in 2022 controlled 73% market share in the aETL market, followed by LG Chem’s 20% and Novaled’s 6%.
Solus was also the sole supplier of aETL for OLED to Samsung Display up to its material set M12.