The Register reports that Honeywell's legal action against 34 electronics and computing companies for allegedly infringing one of its liquid crystal display (LCD) patents has yielded its first public licensing agreement. NEC's LCD division said it had agreed to pay Honeywell for the right to use technology outlined in US patent number 5,280,371, which Honeywell filed in 1992. The financial terms underpinning the deal were not disclosed. The patent covers a LCD's "directional diffuser" - the filter used in many LCDs to increase the angles at which the screen can be viewed. This technique is employed in a range of devices such as notebook PCs, LCD monitors and TVs, PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras and so on. Not surprisingly, given the wide use of diffraction systems, Honeywell has already licensed its IP to major LCD manufacturers, including Samsung and LG Philips. Honeywell launched its legal action in October, targeting 34 companies, including Dell, Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Fujitsu, Sony and Toshiba.
The IPKat recalls how well Texas Instruments did when it turned infringers into a solid income stream and also turned its legal department from a cost centre to a profit centre. It seems that Honeywell will be doing likewise.
How LCDs work here
Other ways to make money here, here and here
Wednesday, 15 December 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 10:31:00 p.m.