Sharp sues Hisense over 'shoddily' made TV sets

Image source, loops7
Image caption,
Sharp wants a five-year deal to end early

Sharp is suing business partner Hisense, claiming the company is putting its name on low quality TVs.

Hisense can make TV sets using the Sharp name thanks to a deal it signed with the company in 2015.

Sharp said the TVs bearing its name broke US rules on electromagnetic emissions and that Hisense had made false claims about picture quality.

Hisense said it "categorically" denied the claims made in Sharp's court papers and it would defend itself.

Court argument

As well as accusing the Hisense-made TV sets of breaking emission guidelines, Sharp said the devices also broke Federal Trade Commission rules on pictures sizes and did not meet wider industry standards covering device safety.

Sharp's legal papers said its brand was at risk of being "destroyed" by the "shoddily manufactured" TV sets by the time the five-year deal ended.

It wants Hisense to stop using the Sharp name.

The legal action is believed to be linked to Sharp's efforts to rebuild itself after a long period of turmoil.

Sharp signed the deal with Hisense to raise cash when it was facing financial problems.

Soon after, Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn bought a controlling stake in Sharp and has injected cash into the business to re-invigorate it.

Regaining control of its brand in the US would aid this rebuilding effort.

In a statement shared with the Wall Street Journal, Hisense said it was looking forward to presenting its case in court.

It added that it was in "full compliance" with the agreement signed in 2015 and the attempt to end the deal would have no effect.

"Hisense will continue to manufacture and sell quality televisions under the Sharp licensed brands," it said.

More on this story