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SED Postponed Indefinitely

Tokyo — Toshiba and Canon sent out official notices Friday that they have postponed the launch of surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED) TVs, which were originally planned to launch in the fourth quarter of 2007.

In a statement, Toshiba said “the decision is based on information provided by Canon, indicating that Canon will not be able to provide SED panels to the original schedule.”

Canon said Friday that “prices of flat panels are declining more rapidly than expected.” The company said it has to institute new production techniques to improve mass production efficiency.

Both Canon and Toshiba said they could not give a specific timeframe for the launch of SED TVs at this time.

Plans for mass production of 55-inch 1080p SED TVs — which are flat-panel sets designed to produce extremely high contrast, black level and color saturation levels — were dealt a blow, by Nano-Proprietary, a company that developed a key piece of technology that Canon was to license to produce the sets.

Nano-Proprietary claimed that Canon broke an exclusivity agreement by sharing information related to electron emissions from carbon nanotubes with Toshiba.

As a result of the suit, Toshiba ended its role as a equity partner with Canon in the SED production company in order to satisfy Nano-Proprietary’s complaints.

Last February, a Federal Court ruled that Canon had violated its agreement with Nano-Proprietary by forming a joint television venture with Toshiba.

On May 3, a jury ruled that no additional damages beyond the $5.5 million fee for the original licensing contract were due.