VIZIO Settles Patent Disputes With Sony Over Flat-Panel TVs
By: William McQuillen
October 29, 2009 

Vizio Inc., the biggest seller of flat-panel televisions in the U.S., said it resolved patent disputes with Sony Corp., which became a licensee under Vizio’s patent portfolio.    
Makers of flat-panel televisions have been filing complaints against each other over patents for the technology during the past couple years as they fight over market share. Vizio had been sued by Sony, as well as Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and other electronics companies who last year claimed infringement of 15 patents.    
“We shall continue to aggressively protect our rights and actively expand Vizio’s licensing program,” Rob Brinkman, Vizio’s vice president of operations and administration, said in a statement. “As an owner of patent rights and as a licensee of legitimate patent rights held by others, Vizio respects intellectual property and we expect our competitors to do the same.”    

In March, Sony settled a patent claim against closely held Westinghouse Digital Electronics LLC over the technology, licensing the inventions in a similar claim.    

Vizio, based in Irvine, California, makes high-definition TVs sold by Costco Wholesale Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers.    

Vizio had 20.5 percent of the U.S. market in the second quarter, according to market research firm ISuppli Corp. of El Segundo, California. Samsung was second with 19.9 percent, ISuppli said.