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Nanosys, QD Vision Clash Over Quantum-Dot Patents

Nanosys, a major supplier of wide-color-gamutquantum-dot technology for TVs and monitors, sued rival QD Vision for patent infringement and asked for the destruction of unsold, unprocessed quantum-dot materials that use the allegedly infringing patents.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, contends QD Vision’s Color IQ technology violates 13 Nanosys patents, produces “inferior copies” that “pose a significant risk to the quantum dots market,” and “cast[s] unwarranted doubts about the viability of quantum dots as an ultra-high definition technology.”

“QD Vision is a poor imitator using technology stolen from Nanosys to produce cheap knockoffs,” said Nanosys president/CEO Jason Hartlove. “When QD Vision’s own technology failed, the company chose infringing on Nanosys’ patents over taking the time to innovate.”

He contended that Color IQ delivers poor color uniformity and high defect rates, “creating the perception that quantum dots are a cheap and inferior quality technology.”

Nanosys is seeking an injunction to stop QD Vision’s infringement, monetary damages, and the destruction of existing inventory, the company said in a statement.

For his part, QD Vision president/CEO Mustafa Ozgen called Nanosys’s claims “entirely without merit” and said, “We intend to defend ourselves and our technology vigorously.”

“It’s apparent from multiple misstatements that our competitor is feeling threatened by our success in the market and using this improper lawsuit to try to slow our legitimate progress,” Ozgen contended.

QD Vision’s Color IQ technology has been used in more than a million displays worldwide since 2013 and is “the most widely used” quantum-dot technology in the market, he said.

QD Vision owns more than 180 patents and patent applications, and it is licensed to use more than 100 patents and patent applications from MIT, he said.

Quantum leap: Quantum dots are light-emitting semiconductor nanocrystals used in LCD displays. The technology uses blue LEDs to send light through a film containing red and green quantum dots. This enables blue LEDs to produce blue light while energizing red and green quantum dots to produce red and green light. The technology is also more energy-efficient than other LCD display technologies.

QD Vision’s solution was used in 2013 Sony Triluminos-display TVs, a Hisense UHD TV available in China, a Philips monitor available in the U.S., and an AOC monitor outside the U.S. In addition, Tongfang Global, which markets TVs under the Seiki brand, announced plans at last year’s IFA to bring QD Vision’s quantum-dot technology to its products

Nanosys’s technology is used in 2016 Samsung SUHD TVs, a TCL 4K TV sold in China, and a 65-inch Hisense TV unveiled last year in cooperation with 3M for the U.S. market. Nanosys also said it cannot disclose the names of other suppliers whose contracts with Nanosys are confidential