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Samsung Electronics and Sony to Share Patents

Posted December. 14, 2004 22:03,   


Samsung Electronics and Sony have shed their competitiveness and joined forces for a partnership. Samsung announced on December 14 that the two companies have signed a contract to share their patents (cross-licensing) until 2008.

The patents for cross-licensing include basic semiconductor technology and industry-standard technologies. Between 1990 and 2003, Sony registered 13,000 patents while Samsung registered 11,000 patents in the United States.

Having access to each other’s patented technologies is likely to reduce time and cost invested into research and development (R&D).

Two industry giants sharing not only patents in specific fields but also a broad range of patents is an exceptional case. Samsung is well-known in the memory semiconductor and digital television industry, whereas Sony controls the non-memory semiconductor, electronic home appliance, and imaging industry sectors.

Samsung explained that “differentiated patents” and “design rights” containing original aspects of the products were excluded from the contract. For Samsung, these exceptions include the DNIe (Digital Natural Image Engine) as well as home networking technology. Sony withheld patents for Digital Reality Creation (CRD), Thin Film Transistor – Liquid Crystal Display (TFT-LCD), and the Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED).

Do-Young Kim nirvana1@donga.com