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SED Legal Woes

January 6, 2007

Canon's little legal spat with the Texas company Nano-Proprietary over the latter's flat-panel display patent is threatening to delay or end altogether the introduction of SED TVs. Not such a little spat after all, I guess.

Nano-Proprietary had licensed the technology to Toshiba, but then Toshiba entered into a joint venture with Canon to develop and market SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) TVs. That joint venture (SED, Inc.) had been planning to build an SED plant early this year; those plans are now on hold.

In its patent infringement lawsuit against Canon, Nano-Proprietary asserted that its license to Toshiba did not extend to the SED Inc. joint venture with Canon.

If SED TVs do not come to market, it will be a tragic loss to all of mankind, so I'm hoping that this announcement (threat) by Canon is a negotiating ploy to induce Nano-Proprietary to settle on acceptable terms. If SED never makes it to market, Nano-Proprietary isn't going to make any money. Hopefully their greed will be tempered by that prospect and the production lines can start rolling.

Canon and Toshiba will reportedly make their decision this month.

An unrelated topic: 24 fans will see the new season start on January 14th with a four-hour two-day season opener. The series will pick up with Jack Bauer having been a prisoner of the Chinese for 18 months. (probably not a fun time)