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Senior Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Michigan State University

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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