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Nanoco and an investor in its case said on Friday that Samsung Electronics has agreed to pay British nanotechnology firm Nanoco Technologies $150 million (about Rs 1,237 crore) to settle patent litigation over technology used in Samsung’s LED TVs.

Nanoco and Chicago-based litigation funding firm GLS Capital said in a release that the settlement, which includes a license agreement and “assignment of certain patents,” resolves litigation in the United States, Germany and China.

Samsung and Nanoco told a Texas federal court on the eve of last month’s trial that they had agreed to settle the dispute, but did not disclose any terms at the time.

Representatives for Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nanoco’s quantum dots improve the backlighting of LED displays without the use of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium. It sued Samsung in 2020, the South Korean tech giant of copying its technology after receiving samples during talks over a potential collaboration.

The Texas lawsuit says Samsung began integrating Nanoco’s technology into high-end QLED TVs it launched in 2017.

Third-party funding of litigation has become more common in recent years, but details of specific investments are rarely disclosed. Critics, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warn that the practice masks who is driving the lawsuits and fuels unnecessary litigation. Supporters say it can level the playing field and promote justice.

Nanoco Chief Executive Brian Tenner said in a statement that GLS Capital’s financing “enables us to pursue claims against larger opponents on an equal footing.”

GLS co-founder Adam Gill said Nanoco would receive more than 60% of the proceeds from the settlement, but declined to provide further details about its financing agreement. He said the company was “proud” to have supported Nanoco in the controversy.

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GLS subsidiary Celerity IP solely manages efforts by Taiwanese technology company Asustek Computer to enforce its 3G, 4G and 5G wireless patent portfolio, Gill said.

The case is Nanoco Technologies Ltd v. Samsung Electronics, US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:20-cv-00038.

Nanoco: Michael Newman, Jim Wodarski, Michael Renaud, Tom Wintner and Matt Galica of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo

Three stars: Greg Arovas, Ed Donovan and Jeanne Heffernan of Kirkland & Ellis.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...