Samsung, LG to end display patent battle
By Kim Yoo-chul
CEOs of Samsung Display and LG Display have agreed to end their battle over patents. The truce comes through the mediation of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
''Samsung and LG reached a broad consensus to end the ongoing legal battle. Working-level discussions aimed at signing a peace treaty will start very soon,’’ said Kim Jae-hong, a ministry official after a three-way meeting.
''We will go one step further,’’ said Samsung Display CEO Kim Ki-nam in a separate meeting with reporters.
''The general mood for the luncheon meeting was good. After having discussions, we will decide whether or not to pay for using some of Samsung’s in-house patents,’’ said LG CEO Han Sang-beom.
Peace between the two would mean that Samsung will sign a cross-licensing deal with LG over several key display-making patents. If this happens, it will be the first time that the rivals will use each other’s patents for strategic reasons.
The latest move to seek a compromise comes after Korea’s leadership in the global display-making industry is increasingly being challenged by Japanese and Chinese rivals in the race for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, which are the next-generation displays that will eventually replace the industry’s current mainstream LCD panels.
Samsung Display initially started the legal battle after it sued some LG Display technicians over their alleged involvement in stealing its in-house OLED technology.
LG countersued Samsung claiming there were seven violations of its OLED patents. LG is seeking a complete sales ban on Samsung’s five devices including the Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note and some other strategic products.
Samsung hit back in November last year when the company filed another lawsuit against LG. According to legal papers, Samsung requested LG Display to completely nullify the patents in question, claiming that they lacked innovation.