Pressure from a lawsuit has forced Canon to make plans to buy out Toshiba from their joint venture developing new SED displays.

Nano-Proprietary has sued Canon for sharing the technology it licensed to Canon with Toshiba, who owns a 50% share in the joint venture.

The SED displays are surface-conduction electron-emitter displays, and promise brighter images and require less energy to run than both LCDs and plasmas.

The technology is already so advanced that the companies were planning, up until a month ago, to display a 55-inch SED television at CES.

However, the fact that LCD and plasma TV prices are dropping, and the cost of SEDs will seem prohibitively high in comparison to them, thereby not making them competitive, has meant that Canon and Toshiba are holding off releasing them.

Instead of a March launch, they're waiting until the last quarter of 2007 to launch them in Japan.

The Canon buyout of Toshiba's share means that plans for massive factory at a site that Toshiba owns will most likely be scrapped in favour of a smaller plant that belongs to Canon.