E Ink, Sharp sign patent cross-licensing deal

Both companies agree on 10-year deal to tap on each other's patented technologies to further their businesses and preemptively defuse possible patent spats, report says.

Taiwanese electronic paper (e-paper) company E Ink Corporation and Japanese electronics giant Sharp have signed a 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement, allowing both parties to use each others' technologies and maintain "patent peace".

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported on Thursday E Ink's South Korean unit, Hydis Technologies, also signed a similar agreement with Sharp. Hydis manufactures LCD panels based on fringe field switching (FFS) technology that is used in displays for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it said.

As part of the deal, E Ink and Sharp will use some of their respective patented technologies in return for licensing fees, such as LCD (liquid crystal display) and TFT (thin-film transistor) technologies, the report said. It will also help both companies focus on the development of their businesses, it added.

With the 10-year agreement, E Ink and Sharp will maintain "patent peace", preventing themselves and their customers from being affected by patent issues, the Central News Agency said.