[EDITORIALS]A Sony-Samsung pactKorea’s Samsung Electronics and Japan’s Sony have signed an agreement to use each other’s patent technologies. In both name and reality, the two companies are leading companies in the electronics industry market.
Korea and Japan are countries that lead the global electronics industry as well as the information technology industry. The fact that these companies will share their patent technologies has a significant meaning.
First of all, they are opening up the doors to a new paradigm ― one that involves joint survival in the global industry, where competition is fierce. If companies do not share patents, they must receive permission to use the other’s technology each time they develop a new product. If not, they would have to invest great time and money in developing a new technology.
Through the co-ownership of patents, however, the two companies have relieved themselves of these kinds of burdens. They have also taken a step further since they are now able to add their counterpart’s technology to their own strengths to create a product that can target the global market.
Another aspect of this technological collaboration is it shows the confidence of the companies. Originally, patents indicate an exclusive right protected by law that can be used to guard a proprietary technology from others. Therefore, companies make extensive efforts to develop new technologies and then have tendencies to monopolize them. It is impossible to share these valuable patent technologies without confidence. Pride that they are the world’s tops in their field, and a vision for developing future technologies was what enabled the two companies to recognize each other as equal partners. Last year, Samsung Electronics applied for 1,313 patents in the United States; Sony applied for 1,311. Samsung Electronics’ brand value is $12.5 billion; Sony’s is $12.7 billion. These figures show that the two companies are at a level where they can acknowledge each other as an equal in both technology and reputation.
Koreans and Japanese are still in competition with each other on a basic level. Some electronic companies have gone to court on patent disputes, but the cooperative model that the two companies have shown opens up possibilities for a collaborative relationship to develop within competition. This kind of mutual model should be adapted and developed by other companies and other fields as well.