February 22, 2018 / 11:04 PM / 4 months ago

Japan's Sharp drops suit against China's Hisense over North America TV sales - Nikkei

(Reuters) - Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp has dropped legal action to block China’s Hisense Group Co Ltd from selling TV sets in North America under Sharp’s brand, which Hisense had licensed, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A 100-inch, Hisense 4K Laser Cast television is displayed during the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

Sharp had filed a Federal lawsuit and an action with a U.S. trade body objecting to the use of its brand on what it called low-quality television sets. Both filings had been withdrawn as of Thursday, the Nikkei said, without citing sources.

A Sharp spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. A Hisense spokesman in Tokyo said he could not comment on the matter.

FILE PHOTO: Sharp Corp's logo is pictured at its President Tai Jeng-wu's news conference in Tokyo, Japan December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Sharp cut back its overseas TV business and licensed Hisense to use its brand in the United States in 2015. It later sued the Chinese state-owned firm for putting the Sharp name on what it said were low-quality TVs.

In September, Sharp asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to probe certain Wi-Fi enabled devices and their parts after Sharp accused Hisense of infringing its patents.

Sharp was taken over by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, having struggled in the face of low-cost Asian competition. Recent financial results have shown Sharp is recovering from massive losses, and the company has said it plans to re-enter the U.S. market with a high-end TV brand.

Reporting by Minami Funakoshi in TOKYO and Susan Mathew in BENGALURU; Editing by Joseph Radford and Christopher Cushing

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