After two and a half years of bickering over LCD and module patents, Sharp and Samsung have finally made a deal to put an end to all their patent infringement disputes.
Samsung said that the cross-licensing agreement will allow the companies access to each other’s patents for LCD and module technology. Both companies have declined to reveal the details of the agreement, although a Sharp spokeswoman was caught bragging over the deal.
“We have a confidentiality agreement, but we can say these conditions will be in favour of Sharp,” said Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama.
The disputes began in August 2007, with Sharp filing a suit against Samsung alleging that LCD modules manufactured by Samsung infringed on five of Sharp’s US patents. A few months later, Sharp extended the suit to South Korea, and Samsung fought back with charges against Sharp in Japan and the US.
The fight then spread to Europe and ended up before the US International Trade Commission (ITC). In December 2009, a court in The Hague (the Netherlands) ruled that Samsung had infringed on Sharp patents and banned imports of infringing products, and in January the ITC also banned import of some Samsung products.
The agreement between the two companies ends all previous orders made by the ITC, including import bans.