Samsung and LG set to discuss OLED tech feud in March, may cross-license patents

Samsung and LG set to discuss OLED tech feud in March, may cross-license patents

Samsung and LG’s long running feud over OLED technology in Korea has simmered down this month — after the duo agreed on a pact against litigation — and the two companies will begin discussions to end their stand-off next month, with the possibility for cross-licensing agreements.

The Yonhap reports that both LG Display chief executive Han Sang-beom and Samsung Display chief executive Kim Ki-nam expressed a commitment to resolve their issues in a constructive “constructive direction”.

Kim raised the potential for patent licensing:

Overall, we are considering cross-licensing patents. That will help the two companies compete with better products in the global market.

Han claimed it may be too early for licensing but admitted that early talks have taken place:

Following a discussion on the scope of working-level talks, (we will) try to meet in early March.

That would complete a remarkable turnaround from the series of court orders and injunctions that the pair levied at each last year, in response to the issues that began in 2011 when Samsung Display suspected that 11 of its researchers had leaked details of its OLED technology — which underpins the display system in smartphones, tablets, TVs and other devices.

The latter part of 2012 saw LG serve Samsung with a patent suit in September, while Samsung moved to annul seven LG patents in November. These actions have both been reversed this month, as Samsung withdrew its request and LG dropped its injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and relations appear to be more cordial.

The most logical next step would be ‘peace talks’ and cross licensing, since that removes the potential for expensive legal costs that neither side will want. Samsung previously pressed a claim for 1 billion won (around $920,000) for each of the 18 “confidential technologies” that it alleges that LG stole from it.

That said, the history of the patents involved is likely to add an addition level of complexity to the process of cross-licensing negotiations.

Headline image via sweetlabs / Flickr

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