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LG Electronics, Sony agree to drop patent lawsuits
SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc., the world's third-largest handset maker, said Thursday that it and Japan's Sony Corp. have agreed to drop patent suits against each other and cross-license patented technologies.

   "We and Sony have agreed to withdraw lawsuits filed against each other," said LG Electronics. "And the two companies have agreed to share each other's patent rights in a cross-licensing deal."

   LG Electronics refused to disclose further details, citing mutual agreement.

   The agreement is expected to put an end to a months-long patent battle between the two Asian electronics rivals.

   Sony filed a lawsuit before the U.S. International Trade Commission and a federal court in December last year, claiming that LG's mobile phones sold in the U.S. used Sony's technologies without permission.

   LG Electronics took immediate action in February to lodge its own lawsuit against the Japanese firm for stealing eight of LG's patents.

   The two Asian electronics giants subsequently exchanged several more countercharges, expanding the legal dispute even to European countries.

   Under a cross-licensing deal, each party will be allowed to use their intellectual properties without paying an extra charge and the details of the range of shared technologies will be decided later, LG Electronics said.

   "We know that reconciliation is better than fighting, even though we would gain much from a lawsuit," said an official at LG Electronics. "We've tried to settle the cases and now we have reached an agreement."

   LG Electronics is also in legal disputes with U.S.-based Whirlpool Corp. and Osram GmbH., a German lighting manufacturer.