Yesterday South Korean police searched the offices of Samsung Electronics’ display design unit, looking for evidence related to an alleged theft from its competitor LG Display.
Investigators from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency searched Samsung’s headquarters for documents related to TV OLED panel technologies. But it’s worth noting that Samsung isn’t necessarily directly responsible for the theft, police are investigating whether partners of rival panel designer LG Display leaked secret documents which then may have then been handed over to Samsung.
It’s also important to note that LG Display didn’t initially report Samsung to the police; Son Young Jun, a spokesman for LG Display, gave the following statement:
The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves
Son Young Jun
Samsung on the other hand were a little more boorish about the whole affair. Jun Eun Sun, a spokeswoman for Samsung, simply had this to say about the incident:
We have no reason to steal other companies’ technology, as we have the world’s best OLED technology
Jun Eun Sun
But I wouldn’t be so quick to shrug this off; this isn’t the first time that the two companies have been involved in allegations of theft regarding OLED displays, there have been ongoing criminal probes into the two companies since last year. In fact just last July six LG Display employees were charged with the theft of OLED technology from Samsung, even though LG claimed that the information involved was widely known at the time and wasn’t considered a trade secret.
Of course for anyone familiar with the technology industry, allegations of theft and the passing of sensitive documents is a somewhat regular occurrence. Even so, this is certainly an embarrassing situation for the two technology giants to find themselves caught in yet again. We’ll just have to wait and see what the police turn up.