Samsung and LG agree to cooperate on display patent matters

Top two manufacturers of panels for tablets and smartphones to cease patent hostilities

There is no doubt that the tech space has been marked by an enormous uptick in patent disputes over the last several years. Rivalries have spilled from the sales floor to the courtroom, as battles between tech giants like Apple and Google, suits from so-called patent trolls and governmental rulings, like decisions from the ITC to ban the import of certain tablets and smartphone. have grabbed headlines

So, in light of all of the animosity between and among these tech companies, it is newsworthy when word of cooperation comes down the pike. But cooperation is indeed the latest news out of South Korea, as LG Display and Samsung Display have decided to put aside their disputes and explore cooperation.

These companies are the largest makers of panel displays in South Korea. Samsung Display manufactures screens for devices such as Galaxy smartphones and tablets, while LG Display supplies screens for iPhones and iPads.

In the past year, the two companies have sued each other over patents related to the creation of these displays. But these suits have put undue weight on the backs of the two companies, who also compete heavily with manufacturers from Japan and China.

In a statement, Samsung Display noted that it has “come to an agreement with LG Display to focus on finding ways to cooperate on patent matters though discussions, and to immediately drop lawsuits over liquid-crystal displays and next-generation organic light-emitting-diode display patents.” LG Display released a separate statement echoing the same sentiments, saying "What's most important for both of us is upgrading our competitiveness globally.”

With increasing consumer demand for crystal clear displays on portable and wearable devices display manufacturers are under increasing pressure to create new and innovative screens. By putting aside their differences, the companies can redirect money and resources devoted to litigation, using the funds instead for R&D and, perhaps, the two companies truly can work together to get a leg up on foreign competitors.

Contributing Author

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Managing Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance arenas. Rich earned a B.A. in English Literature...

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