LG Strikes Patent Deal With Taiwan Firm
By Kim Yoo-chul
LG Display, the world's second-biggest maker of LCD panels, has signed a patent cross-licensing technology deal with Taiwanese company HannStar Display.
The agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year and will remain in place for five years until December 2014, an LG Display spokesman said Wednesday.
However, he declined to give specific financial details such as patent amounts.
HannStar, the world's eighth-largest LCD panel maker, is mainly producing components for notebooks and monitors.
Industry watchers say LG Display will get sizable amount by providing in plane switching (IPS) panel technology to its Taiwanese partner.
As part of the LCD panel supply contract signed in December 2007, HannStar has been delivering 19-inch panels to LG Display, formerly known as LG.Philips LCD (LPL).
Other new products are being jointly designed thanks to the deal, industry watchers and analysts say.
In comparison with VA technology, IPS isn't as sharp in terms of lighting, but has a broader view and is faster in response.
VA technology is used by Samsung Electronics and Sony, while LG Display has embraced IPS technology for its LCD panels.
Last year, LG Display signed IPS contracts with Chinese local brands Hisense, Skyworth and Haier.
Since then, all are using ``hard screen'' in their commercials, signifying the technical upside of IPS.
LG Display is betting heavily on China's flat-screen market. It recently agreed on an $84 million joint investment with Hong Kong-based computer monitor maker TPV Technology.
According to DisplaySearch, a market research firm, China has become the world's largest market for LCD monitors for desktop PCs.
The research firm expects this market to grow to 51 million in 2011 from this year's estimated 32 million.
Shares of LG Display rose 1.6 percent to end at 34,550 won on the nation's main bourse, according to the Korea Exchange.