E Ink/Hydis and Sharp announce cross-licensing agreement for LCD manufacturing

Posted by – July 14, 2012

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
business development.

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.”