Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-largest supplier of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels for TVs and computers, yesterday said it would share manufacturing technologies with Japanese electronics Hitachi Ltd to accelerate technology development.
The agreement will involve a total of 1,000 patents on a wide range of technologies used in making thin-film-transistor (TFT)-liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screens from small panels for mobile phones to slim-screen TVs, Chi Mei said in a statement.
"The patent sharing will create a win-win situation for the two companies as it will help speed up technological development and product improvement," Chi Mei president Ho Jau-yang (
"As Hitachi is also a customer, we hope the license sharing will bring us more business," Ho said.
The deal ensures that Chi Mei will be immune from intellectual property right infringement charges until 2010, according to the statement. No details about royalties were disclosed yesterday.
Chi Mei currently supplies TV screens including 23-inch and 20-inch panels to the Japanese company, as well as clients Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp.
"Chi Mei will benefit from the deal as it will get the technologies it needs by paying fewer royalties," said Eric Lin (
On top of that, Chi Mei would eliminate possible legal repercussions faced by most local companies. It is common for industry leaders to use patent disputes as a tool to slow smaller players' entrance to the market, Lin said.
Early this month, Hitachi filed a patent infringement lawsuit in northern California against three monitor makers: Amtran Technology Co (