MANHASSET, N.Y. Taiwan-based Liquid crystal display supplier AU Optronics Corp. has signed an agreement with International Business Machines Corp. (IBM Corp.), agreeing to acquire the computer maker's hundreds of global patents related to thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCD technology.
In a related announcement, AU and IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) entered into a patent cross-license agreement to license relevant products under other patents owned by both companies.
The patents cover TFT array processes, cell processes, RGB color filters, backlights, driving circuits, and other technologies.
IBM, which developed key LCD technologies in the 1980s, exited the business in 2001 when it scrapped its joint LCD venture with Toshiba. However, the company has held on to its display patents since then.
Considered by analysts the third largest supplier of LCD panels,
AU Optronics entered a technology transfer agreement with IBM in 1999. The company has amassed over 1,100 patents worldwide.