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Sharp Reportedly Drops Lawsuit Against Hisense

Sharp Corp. (SHCAY.PK) dropped its lawsuit against Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense Electric Co. in a dispute over rights Sharp granted to its brand name when selling televisions in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported citing a person familiar with the matter.

In 2015, Osaka-based Sharp sold Hisense the right to use the Sharp brand on televisions sold in the U.S. for five years. It was one of many steps Sharp took to raise cash during its business troubles before it was acquired in 2016 by Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group.

Under its new owner, Sharp has tried to expand its television business to promote awareness of the brand among consumers, and it has been seeking a way to terminate the Hisense licensing deal.

In the lawsuit, filed last year in California state court, Sharp said that under Hisense's management, Sharp-brand televisions sold in the U.S. were "shoddily manufactured" and "in many cases, perceived by consumers as cheap." Sharp said its brand and trademark were "at risk of being destroyed" by the time the five-year agreement expired.

Hisense said at the time that it was in full compliance with its license agreement and was making quality televisions under Sharp-licensed brands. Hisense wasn't immediately available to comment on Sharp's decision to drop the lawsuit.

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