Friday, September 27, 2013. Universal Display Corporation (“UDC”; NASDAQ: OLED) claims that it “owns” phosphorescent OLED technology. However, unbeknownst to investors and analysts the company has made “glaring confessions and admissions” that directly contradict its central patent claims. Analysts mistakenly believe that UDC had something to do with discovering phosphorescence, or phosphorescent materials, or a particular organometallic phosphorescent material well suited for OLED production, such as an iridium-based organometallic phosphorescent compound, or an OLED with an organometallic phosphorescent material. UDC has admitted that it did no such thing; we discuss these “confessions and admissions” below. A separate asensio.com report shows why UDC cannot claim to have invented or discovered any phosphorescent iridium compound. This report, titled “Universal Display’s ludicrous claim of owning phosphorescence,” provides investors with details on the profound wealth of knowledge that existed publicly on triplet emission from organometallic phosphorescent iridium compounds, long before UDC’s “dramatic breakthrough.”
The confessions show that UDC’s most repeated claims are grossly over-blown and totally distorted. These confessions and admissions destroy UDC’s own most central claim, that it “own[s] phosphorescent emitters” as a result of its purported “dramatic breakthrough.” They also show UDC taking credit for OLEDs and phosphorescent phenomena long after they were well known. All of this goes to show not just UDC’s weak and convoluted position in patent litigation, but it explains the insecurities that led management to wrongfully say they contributed in any way to InterDigital, Inc.
UDC has a long history of making ostentatious, promotional claims to investors about purportedly inventing and ‘owning’ phosphorescent OLEDs. At an Oppenheimer investor conference on August 14th, UDC management stated, “We have developed what we call phosphorescent technology.” At a J.P. Morgan conference in May, UDC management stated, “We own phosphorescent emitters.” At another investor conference on September 11th, hosted by Deutsche Bank, UDC actually mentioned the iridium material that is behind its grandiose invention claims, stating its owns “[t]he basic phosphorescent patent … converting this triplet energy into usable light… you can do this by using an iridium complex material.” Well it turns out that UDC made all these ostentatious claims to investors AFTER it had essentially admitted the opposite to the world’s highest and most respected patent court.
UDC’s “glaring confessions and admissions” are explained by another scientific expert to mean that UDC has admitted that it simply added an iridium compound to an existing OLED device made up of well-known, existing parts. They also show that UDC does not and cannot claim that it invented the iridium compound it added, or even that it invented an iridium compound as an emissive material. The UDC filing plainly and clearly in no uncertain terms states, “The invention is… not an emitter compound“ (emphasis in original, page 7).
The above extraordinary admission came after UDC conceding in the same filing that “[f]luorescent emission from organic materials was already described in 1987,” and that “since fluorescent OLEDs only differ from phosphorescent OLEDs in the type of emitter compound used, it is clear that the know-how regarding OLED materials and structures built up for fluorescent OLEDs is routinely transferred to phosphorescent OLEDs without any hesitation” (page 6 emphasis added). UDC appears to have given up its so-called “dramatic invention” claim and admits that its invention was actually a mere ‘routine transfer’ from existing inventions.
UDC’s confessions continued. UDC attempts to distance itself from iridium in the same filing, stating that the idea “that the patent is directed to the provision of certain chemical species… is… incorrect.”
In simple terms, UDC is stating that its supposed “invention” was not an iridium compound or even an OLED containing an iridium compound; UDC tries to claim that it invented any and all phosphorescent OLED devices.
The accompanying asensio.com report shows just how ludicrous UDC’s position is. It is indisputable that certain iridium compounds were well known to be phosphorescent long before UDC ever conducted its experiments. Specifically, it was well known that the iridium compound used by UDC was known to produce phosphorescent emission. Investors should be aware that UDC is attempting to take credit for more than a decade of work done by Samsung and others to develop functional phosphorescent OLED displays, though UDC only did simple, mundane, optimizing experiments in the mid-1990s, based on more fundamental discoveries going back to the 1970s, based on phenomena observed in the 1890s.
We strongly believe that these admissions and confessions, submitted by UDC to the highest patent court in the world, indisputably shows that UDC has made no significant contribution to the development and commercialization of phosphorescent OLED displays, contrary to UDC’s claims to investors. It also shows that in patent litigation, UDC is making weak, convoluted arguments to cover up its disintegrating charade.
As previously reported by asensio.com, this November the European Patent Office Boards of Appeal will be making a ruling that could result in sudden death for UDC’s key patent claims on phosphorescent OLED materials and trigger undisclosed termination clauses in its Samsung agreement.
* The confessions and admissions are filed in the final appeal of UDC’s key patent claims. UDC is responsible for paying for the legal defense of the patent, according to UDC’s filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission.