Earlier this week, Samsung and Sharp announced the settlement of their long-running dispute over patents related to LCD panels. As is often the case when both side sue each other, they agreed to a cross-licensing agreement that will give each company access to the disputed intellectual property claimed by the other. Additional details of the agreement were not released.
This is likely to be a good thing for the industry and consumers, as it brings to a close a series of lawsuits dating back to August 2007. It removes some uncertainty about potential patent infringement liability for both manufacturers, which means that they can put more focus on improving production efficiencies and advancing LCD technology. The further consolidation of intellectual property among these two giant corporations could potentially restrain competition by other companies, but Sharp and Samsung already have massive IP portfolios so this development is not likely to have much impact on the overall market.