The once proud Japanese maker of TVs, today owned by Foxconn, wants its brand, which was licensed to Hisense, back. It is taking the matter to courts, accusing Hisense for selling ”shoddily” manufactured TVs, according to Wall Street Journal.
”Shoddily” made TVs that ”destroy” brand
When Japan’s Sharp found itself in financial trouble a few years ago, it sold off the rights to produce TVs under the Sharp logo. China’s Hisense acquired the rights to sell in the US, and Slovakia’s UMC is planning to sells Sharp TVs in Europe.
In the meantime, Foxconn has acquired the majority share (66%) in Sharp and wants rights to the brand back. This became clear shortly after Foxconn took over.
Hisense has refused to give up the rights it bought in 2015 in a license deal that spans 5 years. Sharp has therefore decided to take the fight to court in notable fashion.
Sharp acuses Hisense of selling ”shoddily manufactured” Sharp TVs. It also accuses Hisense of breaking emission guidelines, breaking FTC’s rules on format size classification, and not meeting industry safety standards. Sharp fears that the brand could be ”destroyed” once the 5-year licensing deal comes to an end.
Hisense: We will continue
Hisense says that it ”categorically denies” the accusations and is looking forward to meeting Sharp/Foxconn in court.
- "Hisense will continue to manufacture and sell quality televisions under the Sharp licensed brands," the company said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
UMC holds the rights to the Sharp TV brand in Europe but the situation there is unclear. The company announced plans to launch 50 models in Europe in the first quarter of 2017 but it appears that the launch is still pending.