SEOUL-Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co. (LPL) have agreed to end courtroom battles over display-technology patents and explore cooperation, highlighting competitive pressures in the market for next-generation displays.
South Korea's top two panel makers have traded lawsuits over the past year as they raced against each other to bring the latest display technologies to market. Samsung Display supplies screens for Samsung Electronics Co.'s (005930.SE) Galaxy smartphones, tablet computers and televisions, while LG Display makes screens for Apple Inc.'s iPhones and iPads, as well as LG Electronics Inc.'s (066570.SE) smartphones. The two rivals also have released expensive, curved OLED displays used in television sets.
Samsung Display said in a statement it has "come to an agreement with LG Display to focus on finding ways to cooperate on patent matters though discussions, and to immediately drop lawsuits over liquid-crystal displays and next-generation organic light-emitting-diode display patents."
LG Display, in a separate statement,mobi to pdf echoed Samsung's commitment to cooperation.
Displays have become an important feature of tablets, smartphones and an emerging breed of wearable gadgets. Producing super-slim screens with sharper resolution for phones like the Galaxy S4 and the LG G2 is crucial for LG Display and Samsung Display, and both are targeting the adoption of plastic or flexible OLED screens for mobile devices by smartphone makers.
One of the rivals' disputes involved LCD patents. Samsung Display had alleged in December that LG Display breached seven of its patents, and LG Display responded by seeking to ban sales of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.
In February, however, the companies agreed that their legal dispute was "exhausting" and that their energy should be directed toward keeping a competitive edge over foreign rivals, responding to government efforts to mitigate the conflict. Both companies compete with Japan Display Inc. and Chinese panel makers, which are gaining ground in the lower-end segment.