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).
We reached out to UDC for a comment on this new patent. The company says that the focus of the company is still phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) technology. The company however patents technology invented by its scientists "even if it is outside our focus, like TADF".
That may be the case, but it's also possible that UDC is indeed actively researching TADF emitters. As our reader David pointed out in a comment below, the authors of the patent are part of the team that UDC acquired from BASF which means that UDC may just have followed up on a research activity that began at BASF.
Besides UDC, TADF is being developed by three other companies. Japan-based Kyulux was established to commercialize Prof. Adachi's HyperFluoresence TADF technology (UDC gives credit to Prof. Adachi's work in the patent application). Germany-based Cynora is focusing on a blue TADF emitter. Both companies aim to release their first commercial materials in late 2017 or early 2018. Idemitsu Kosan also considers TADF as one of the key OLED technologies and intends to focus on TADF in the future (although Idemitsu's actual TADF plans are not clear yet).