Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sony and Samsung to share patents

This is rather shocking news (WSJ). Sony and Samsung have agreed to cross-license about 90% of their patents (each hold just over 10K US patents alone). It is amazing that relative newcomer Samsung has a patent portfolio of value roughly equivalent to Sony's, considering the latter company has been a consumer electronics heavyweight for a generation now. It just shows how rapidly things move in technology-intensive industries.

For four of the past five years, Samsung has been among the top 10 in U.S. patent applications, and its knowhow in flat-panel manufacturing was a big reason Sony asked to collaborate with it in liquid-crystal displays last year.

I wonder if this agreement covers Sony's new multicore "Cell" chip, which is state of the art.

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