Canon and Toshiba have announced that they are putting the SED TV prototype on hold indefinitely.

The concept design, first announced by Canon in the 1980s, was supposed to be better than both Plasma and LCD and was due to go into production later this year.

The new type of flat panels are called surface-conduction electron-emitter display TVs, or SEDs for short consumed up to 50% less power than the LCD or Plasma and the two company's hoped that a 2008 launch would encourage demand in the run up to the Olympic games in China.

Canon had licensed field-emission display technology patents from Nano-Proprietary, an Austin, Texas-based company. But Nano-Proprietary said that its $5.6 million deal with Canon didn't include Toshiba, and, in January of this year, Canon bought majority ownership of SED Inc., and made it a subsidiary.

In a statement on its Web site, Canon blamed "prolonged litigation currently underway in the United States and efforts to establish mass-production technology aimed at realizing further cost reductions".

The company has said that it will announce a new launch schedule for SED televisions at a future date.

We will keep you posted.