We'd like to take a moment to extend a hearty congratulations to consumer electronics stalwart Pioneer upon its very first entry into the ugly world of patent litigation. The Japanese manufacturer is suing Korea's Samsung Electronics and Samsung SDI -- no stranger to IP lawsuits, as it's also embroiled in disputes with Panasonic and Fujitsu -- for infringement of proprietary technology related to the production of plasma displays. Specifically, Pioneer claims that Samsung is violating patents pertaining to electrode configuration boosting display quality and a manufacturing step that increases display brightness -- pretty serious stuff, we know. For its part, Samsung says that it's planning to file a counter-suit, although this one may be just for posturing, as the company has apparently been in talks with Pioneer since April of last year concerning possible licensing agreements. Reuters points out that this move is the latest in a trend of aggressive intellectual property protection on the part of Japanese firms regarding potential infringement by their Asian rivals, with Panasonic and LG having recently settled a similar PDP-based brouhaha. We'll keep you posted on this one as it slowly winds its way through the courts, but at the very least it seems that investors aren't too concerned with Samsung's culpability here: Pioneer shares gained 0.72% on the news, while Samsung stock actually rose even more, by a total of 2.77%.

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Pioneer suing Samsung over...well, you know the drill by now