Tuesday, December 14, 2004

OLIVE BRANCH BETWEEN JAPAN AND KOREA? Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics announced that they had agreed to share patents on basic technology to speed up product development and avoid adding to a growing number of cross-border patent disputes.

The cross-licensing deal allows the Japanese and South Korean electronics giants to tap each other's vast patent portfolios on basic technologies. However, it will exclude key technologies that help differentiate their products, such as those related to Sony's hit PlayStation game consoles.

The move follows a string of legal actions between Japanese and South Korean electronics makers over alleged patent infringements.

"With this agreement with Samsung, we aim to keep clear of unnecessary conflicts and compete only in those areas where we really need to compete," Sony Executive Vice President Yoshihide Nakamura told reporters.

- This is pretty big - being that Japanese companies tend to act in concert regarding corporate and IP policies (emphasis on "tend"), it may be only a matter of time before Matsushita and Toshiba settle their disputes between them and LG Electronics . . .

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