A South Korean intellectual property trial and appeal board has upheld the validity of a 3M patent regarding its method of stacking the surface of "structured optical films." 3M's film product is used in the making of packaging, electronics and other products.

The decision is related to a 2015 patent infringement lawsuit that 3M Korea had filed against LMS Co. Ltd. in the Seoul Central District Court.

In its lawsuit, 3M accused the company of infringing upon 3M's light management film packaging products that are sold under the name XLAS. LMS countered,asking the Korean intellectual property board to consider 3M's patent invalid. The administrative board has now ruled that the 3M patent is valid, which sets the stage for 3M's lawsuit to go forward in court..

3M's prism films are used in some cell phones, televisions, monitors, and notebook computers. The films help direct light so that a thinner and more energy-efficient display is possible. 3M has been aggressive in protecting its patented processes, which are used by customers around the globe.

Now that the Korean intellectual property board has decided that 3M's patent is valid, the rest of 3M's lawsuit could make its way through the court system. The case, which revolves around 3M's patent number 1,074,570, is ongoing and it is not clear when it will be resolved.

In announcing its preliminary victory, 3M officials said they remain "committed to vigorously protecting [3M's] intellectual property and investments in optical film technologies."