Smart TV industry rocked by alleged patent conspiracy from chipmaker
news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 8 June, 2023 - 19:59 · 1 minute
During the pandemic, the demand for smart TVs dwindled as the supply chain for critical TV components became unreliable and consumers began tightening up on frivolous spending. Amid this smart TV demand slump, one of the world's top TV chipmakers, Taiwan-based Realtek, was hit with multiple meritless lawsuits by an alleged patent troll, Future Link Systems. These actions, Realtek said, drained its resources, made Realtek appear unreliable as a TV-chip supplier, and created "the harmful illusion of supply chain uncertainties in an already constrained industry."
Determined to defend its reputation and maintain its dominant place in the market, Realtek filed a lawsuit this week in a US district court in California. In it, the TV chipmaker alleged that Future Link launched "an unprecedented and unseemly conspiracy" with the world's leading TV-chip supplier, Taiwan-based MediaTek, and was allegedly paid a "bounty" to file frivolous patent infringement claims intended to drive Realtek out of the TV-chip market.
The scheme allegedly worked like this: Future Link "intentionally and knowingly" asked a US district court in Texas and the US International Trade Commission "for injunctions prohibiting importation of Realtek TV Chips and devices containing the same into the United States," Realtek alleged. This allowed MediaTek to reap the benefits of diminished competition in that market, Realtek claimed.