My guess is maybe they plan to combine Sharp's Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) with Hydis's Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS) for LCD screen manufacturing. The cross-licensing agreement lasts 10 years from now.
Here's the press release:
July 12, 2012, Hsinchu, Taiwan – E Ink® Holdings (8069.TW), the leading developer
and marketer of electronic paper display technologies and FFS LCD technologies,
today announced that the company and its South Korean subsidiary Hydis
Technologies, have each signed a patent cross‐licensing agreement for TFT LCD
products with Sharp Corporation of Japan.
Under the terms of each Agreement, which will be in effect for ten (10) years, the
two parties will be able to use certain proprietary technologies of the other in the
manufacturing of LCDs. The agreements make provision for the payment of patent
licensing royalty. In addition, during the effective period of the Agreements, the two
sides will maintain patent peace to exempt each Company and their customers'
operations from patent interference and allow each of the parties to focus on
Hydis’ Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is currently used in LCD‐based tablet
PCs, smart phones, and other high‐end handheld devices. LCDs using FFS
technology provide users with a wide viewing angle, high contrast, high‐resolution
display with the benefit of lower power consumption and is superior to other
similar wide viewing angle technologies in the market. Hydis FFS technology has
been licensed to other prominent LCD manufacturers in the past, and these new
agreements will continue to broaden the use of the technology. Future applications
of the FFS technology include notebook computers and television, markets in which
the potential growth for utilizing Hydis’ FFS technology remain huge.
“We are very excited about these agreements with Sharp,” stated Scott Liu,
Chairman of E Ink Holdings. “FFS technology can greatly enhance a user’s LCD
experience, and licensing to other leading LCD makers will allow us to reach new
markets and customers.”
- E Ink, Sharp sign patent cross-licensing deal (zdnet.com)