Sharp Takes Licensing Battle with LCD-TV licensee Hisense to Court

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Sharp Corp. is suing Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense — its LCD-TV licensee for North, South, and Central America — in the Superior Court of California, San Francisco, formally ending what had been discussions about terminating the license that began last September, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The suit alleges that Hisense “cut corners” on its Sharp-branded LCD TV line in failing to meet “the standards and quality” required under a 5-year  license signed in 2015. Hisense signed the pact in buying Sharp’s Rosarito, Mexico LCD TV assembly plant for $23.7 million. The suit seeks, among other things, a court order barring Hisense from using Sharp’s trademarks.

Among the allegations are that Hisense:

  • Falsely advertised brightness levels and 4K resolution.
  • Failed to comply with Underwriter Laboratory standards.
  • Failed to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s rules governing electromagnetic interference.
  • Didn’t price Sharp TVs at a premium to its own brand. The prices of the Sharp sets declined 40% in 2016, while those for Hisense models were unchanged, Sharp said. Hisense sold a line of 28, 32-75-inch Sharp LCD TVs.

Hisense issued a statement denying the allegations.

Sharp’s filing can be found at www.regmedia.co.uk/2017/06/12/sharp_v_hisense.pdf