• Kyodo News

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Canon Inc. and Toshiba Corp. said Friday they will postpone the launch of next-generation flat-panel televisions known as SED TVs.

The two Japanese companies had planned to introduce Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display TVs sometime between October and December this year.

Canon said the delay is due to “prolonged litigation now under way in the United States.” It also needed to reduce the mass-production costs of SED TVs because the prices of other types of flat-panel TVs already on the market — the liquid-crystal display and plasma-display models — are sharply declining.

Toshiba said the decision was made because Canon will not be able to provide SED panels according to the original schedule.

Canon and Toshiba said they cannot predict any specific time frame for the launch of SED TVs at the moment.

In 2004, Canon and Toshiba formed SED Inc., with capital of 10.5 billion yen, in order to release SED TVs in Japan in the fourth quarter of 2007 before launching mass production in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

SEDs are said to provide the same level of brightness and color as a cathode-ray tube, but TVs using this new technology can come in a slimmer form and use less power than cathode-ray tube, liquid-crystal-display and plasma-display TVs.

In January, Canon took over Toshiba’s stake in their 50-50 joint venture for the development and production of SED panels after judging that a pending lawsuit against Canon over SED technology in the United States will require some more time to be resolved.

The U.S. lawsuit was filed by Nano-Proprietary Inc. in May 2005, claiming that Canon is improperly using the Austin, Texas-based firm’s patented technology to manufacture SEDs for TV production at the joint venture.

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