South Korean Flat Panel Makers Cooperate On Patents

Four of South Korea's top flat panel producers are working towards cross-licensing patents and R&D cooperation.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's four leading makers of flat panel displays agreed to work toward cross-licensing patents, buying products from each other and cooperating in research and development, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said Monday.
Samsung Electronics Co., Samsung SDI Co., LG Electronics Inc. and LG.Philips LCD Co. also agreed to buy more panel components and equipment from South Korean manufacturers, while reducing purchases from abroad, the ministry said in a statement.
''(South) Korea's market leadership is being threatened by rival companies in Taiwan, Japan and China,'' the ministry said. ''Korean companies see the need to cooperate more.''
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which compete against each other as flat panel TV makers, haven't purchased displays from each others' affiliated panel makers, instead securing required components from Taiwanese companies, the statement said.
The four South Korean companies also agreed to try to standardize flat panel sizes to enhance competitiveness in global markets, the ministry said.
Samsung Electronics and LG.Philips LCD, the world's two largest makers of liquid crystal displays, make LCDs in different sizes so they cannot be used for each other's flat TVs.
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