OLED patents

Chinese and Korean researchers allegedly tried to sell SDC's OLED technology secrets to China

The South Korean prosecution has indicted several officials that allegedly tried to sell OLED technology secrets to China. These officials include Korean and Chinese researchers - and also a professor at a national Korean research institution.

The Korean prosecution says that the suspects sold 5,130 files containing OLED technologies owned by Samsung Display. Some of these officials worked at a local contractor of SDC. They say that the officials were offered around $180,000 from a Chinese company - in exchange for joining the company and delivering OLED technology files.

Motorola patents a technology to fix low-temperature foldable display deformation

Motorola has been granted an interesting patent that aims to solve screen deformation with foldable displays. Motorola says that one of the issues with foldable displays is that they deform in low temperatures.

Motorola heating-hinge foldable OLED patent photo

Motorola suggests using a temperature sensor that detects when the display is deformed, and then the hinge is heated so that the display is automatically corrected. This could be used to create foldable OLEd phones that bend both inward and outwards, and can work with more than one hinge (so that you can fold a display several times).

Solas OLED expands its patent portfolio and research team

This is a sponsored post by Solas OLED

Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED says that its team has tripled its size since its establishment two years ago, and Solas continues to expand its electrical engineering and research team. Solar has also been granted a number of new and fundamental patents - relating to OLED design and driver circuitry.

Solas OLED team photo

Solas OLED will attend SID DisplayWeek 2018 (May 22-25, Los Angeles). If you're interested in contacting Solas to schedule a meeting and discuss their OLED solutions, click here.

UDC and Samsung Display sign new long-term PHOLED materials and technology supply agreements

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED material supply and license agreements with Samsung Display. UDC will continue to supply its PHOLED phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to Samsung Display for use in its OLED displays. The agreements are scheduled to run through December 31, 2022, and may be extended for an additional two-year period.

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC did not disclose the financial terms of these new agreements, but we do know that Samsung will pay a license fee throughout the agreement period. The previous UDC-SDC agreement ended on December 31st 2017, but for the past month and a half the two companies still conducted business of course as SDC's OLED production was not halted.

UDC did not yet sign a new agreement with SDC, which expired on December 31 2017

In August 2011 Samsung signed a long-term license agreement with Universal Display which allowed Samsung to acquire and use UDC's patented phosphorescent OLED materials. That important agreement (which generated hundreds of millions in revenues for UDC over the years) expired on December 31, 2017.

UDC announced yesterday that it is in on-going discussions regarding a formal long-term extension of these agreements (the patent license agreement and the OLED material purchase agreement). UDC expects SDC to continue buying materials during these discussions. No time frame has been established for the completion of these discussions.

UDC and BOE sign a long-term OLED agreement

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED agreements with BOE Technology Group. Under these agreements, UDC will supply phosphorescent OLED materials to BOE. UDC and BOE signed their first agreement in 2014 and it is great to see these evolve into long-term agreements.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab in October 2017. BOE's B7 fab is the company's first flexible AMOLED line and actual real mass production will probably begin at about Q1 2018. The full capacity is 48,000 substrates per month, but this will only be achieved in the first half of 2019.

Kateeva officially launches its R&D and pilot OLED TV ink jet printing systems, acquires a large IP portfolio

OLED ink-jet developer Kateeva made several interesting updates regarding its OLED Ink Jet printing technologies. First up, the company formally introduced its inkjet equipment for large-area RGB OLED emitter deposition. Kateeva brands its new line as YIELDJet Explore and these systems are targeted for R&D lines and pilot lines.

Kateeva YIELDJet TFE system photo

Kateeva offers two systems, the Explore, which is used for early development and small panels (up to 200 mm substrates) and the Explore Pro which can be used to produce panels up to 55" in size (this is still a development/pilot system, though). Kateeva announced that it has shipped four Explore systems in 2017, and it expects to ship three additional systems by Q2 2018.

How will the phosphorescent emitter market look in 2018, following UDC's basic material patent expiration?

The phosphorescent OLED emitter market is currently dominated by Universal Display who owns the basic patents to phosphorescent OLED emitters. All the major OLED makers (including Samsung and LGD) are using UDC's materials in order to achieve higher display efficiencies, beyond what is available from fluorescent emitters.

Universal Display holds over 4,000 issued and pending patents, but some of its basic phosphorescent patents are set to expire by the end of 2017. Honestly, it is very difficult to know exactly what effect this will have on the market - some analysts believe that it will carry very little effect while others say that this will open the door for other companies to sell competing phosphorescent emitters.

Idemitsu Kosan and LG Chem to share OLED material patents

Idemitsu Kosan and LG Chem announced a new collaboration agreement that will allow both companies to use each other OLED material-related patents in certain areas.

IDEL Korean OLED plant photo

Idemitsu and LG Chem hope that this collaboration and patent sharing agreement will accelerate the development of new high-performance OLED materials. Through this cooperative arrangement, both companies will strongly support the OLED business of LG Display - but will also offer the outcome of this collaboration to other display companies.

Universal Display is developing TADF emitter and host materials

Universal Display was recently awarded a new patent (USPTO #20170186976) that describes high electroluminescent efficiency TADF OLED emitter and host materials based on benzotriazoles.

UDC emitter and host materials photo

It is very interesting to see UDC developing TADF material. The company is focused on phosphorescent based OLEDs but, as they explain in the patent application, "phosphorescent materials generally contain a rare metal element such as Ir or Pt. These metals are rather expensive and are dependent on limited global resources". TADF could also be a viable route towards an efficient blue emitter (blue-emission is specifically mentioned in UDC's new patent).