South Korea’s LG Electronics is a leader in the field of OLED displays today—with a 15-inch OLED display on sale now and hoping to get a 3-inch version out the door in a little over a year—but Kodak actually did a lot of the legwork on developing the technology, creating the first diode device in the 1980s. Now, Kodak is getting out of the OLED business altogether, announcing that not only is it selling its OLED business lock, stock, and barrel to LG Electronics, but it’s also entered into a broad patent cross-licensing deal with LG that will give the company access to Kodak’s display technology patents.
Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed, but Kodak describes the patent agreement as “royalty bearing,” meaning they’re going to be receiving income from LG products that utilize Kodak technology.
Kodak had previously announced belt-tightening measures to bolster the company’s bottom line, including scaling back its investments in research and development. Selling the OLED business to LG should help the company focus on its digital printing products.
Kodak had recently generated some buzz with its 7.6-inch OLED wireless photoframe, which latches on to home networks via Wi-Fi wireless networking so users can pull images from online photo sites like Flickr, and well as tap into personalized Internet news feeds—although the $1,000 suggested retail price probably put off any but the most ardent OLED fans.
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