LG forges patent company alliance

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LG logoReaders of these articles and their predecessors on DailyFinance will be aware that a number of companies - Apple and Samsung in particular - have developed the unorthodox technique of marketing their phones by blocking others through the courts. In light of this it's not surprising that manufacturer LG has set up an alliance but not with a technology builder - with a patent specialist.

The alliance is with patent house Intellectual Ventures, which has a large selection of innovation rights it licenses to other companies. It doesn't make any gadgets itself. LG will now be in a position to counter-sue more or less anyone who threatens to bring an action over patents.

Not cynical
Like a lot of readers, I'd guess, my first reaction on reading this was that it looks like a cynical move to use the courts rather than marketing a decent product to gain the customer's attention.

Then I thought again. Apple has successfully blocked Samsung from selling certain products in Germany and Australia by obtaining court injunctions. Meanwhile Samsung has repaid the compliment wherever it can.

This is now going to be very difficult to do in the case of LG. As long as it's used judiciously - by which I mean in blocking other litigation rather than in trying to stifle the competition - this could be a brilliant move which will enable good quality products to get to us consumers before the courts get to intervene.

Then we can make our own minds up about which we want and which we don't.

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