LG follows Samsung, forms US subsidiary to reduce "threat of patent trolls"

LG Display, the display panel affiliate of LG Group, has formed a subsidiary with the sole purpose of managing its patents in the United States, reports ZDNet Korea's Jeong Hyeon-jeong.

The company recently established Unified Innovative Technology in Delaware, Ohio with a $4 million investment and owns 100 percent of the shares.

“Unified is a company specializing in patent management,” said a LG Display official in a call with ZDNet Korea. “We’ve formed the company to strengthen our efficiency in global patent-related work.”

“The company is still in its incipient stage but plans to expand in the future,” he added.

Though patent litigation has been rarer in display panels compared to IT end-products, LG’s move is a precaution against such possibilities, said the company official.

The future: a flexible display panel from LG Display

LG is the world leader in liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels, and is also investing in next-generation products such as flexible displays and large-screen organic light-emitting diodes (OLED).

In OLED alone, it owned 9,600 patents globally as of June last year. It also had 19,713 LCD patents as of 2012, the largest portfolio in the sector globally.

A team of around 70 at LG's Yeouido headquarters in Seoul, South Korea oversees patent protection, and will likely back the new subsidiary.

“The role of Unified is to prevent the ever-increasing threat of patent trolls and other possible patent violations,” said the LG official.

Local rival Samsung Display shelled out $25 million in March last year for a similar subsidiary, Intellectual Keystone Technology.  Based in Washington D.C. that business handles patent development and trading. 


Source: ZDNet Korea (www.zdnet.co.kr)