The Korea Herald


Samsung strikes back at LG over legitimacy of QLED reference

LG refutes Samsung’s use of ‘QLED’ in TV ads, ‘irrelevant’ to FTC decision

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Published : Sept. 29, 2019 - 16:34

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Samsung Electronics on Sunday struck back at LG Electronics, saying its reference to quantum-dot light-emitting diodes for TV commercials had already been approved in major overseas markets.

“It is regretful that the QLED reference is belatedly becoming an issue in Korea, when it had been cleared for use at major overseas markets,” said a Samsung representative. 

Samsung’s QLED TVs are on display at IFA 2019 in Berlin, earlier this month. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald) Samsung’s QLED TVs are on display at IFA 2019 in Berlin, earlier this month. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

Samsung said the QLED label for its TVs had been approved by advertisement authorities in the US, the UK and Australia in 2017 when the TVs first hit the market.

This explanation comes after LG filed a complaint with Korea’s Fair Trade Commission on Sept. 19 saying that the Samsung QLED TVs are not self-light-emitting as the name would suggest.

“Calling Samsung TVs QLED is misleading consumers and discouraging competitors from developing further technology,” countered an LG representative, “We urge Samsung to refrain from diverting and comply with the FTC investigation.”

At a technology briefing for media earlier this month, LG showed a dissected Samsung QLED TV that had several layers of film in front of a backlight liquid crystal display.

According to LG, Samsung TVs should be called QD-LCD instead of QLED.

“The Korean Intellectual Property Office has also said at end-2018 that the technological name ‘QLED’ refers to self-light-emitting displays,” the LG representative said.

However, Samsung says similar complaints had been raised overseas, only to be invalidated.

In October 2017, Australia’s Advertising Claims Board endorsed Samsung’s counterclaim that the quantum-dot technology can be either photo-luminescent or electro-luminescent quantum dot. The ACB had agreed with Samsung that the definition of QLED is not limited to the electro-luminescent method and that the technological innovation achieved by Samsung through its metal-coated quantum-dot filter must also be taken into consideration.

In the same month, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority had determined that consumers were well aware that Samsung’s QLED TVs are not self-light-emitting and that the company’s current technology is still superior to the existing TVs in terms of color expression.

The US’ National Advertising Division in March 2018 had advised competing electronics’ firm from running advertisements against Samsung’s QLED technology.

LG refuted Samsung, saying the use of the QLED name for advertisements is irrelevant to the future FTC decision.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (