Inderscience Publishers

Can Sharp become the new liquid crystal panel IGZO leader? Observations from patent information analysis

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This research focuses on the patent applications in the field of IGZO liquid crystal panel business. The 'IGZO' is a new challenging material for liquid crystal polymer (LCP). We compared and analysed patent information of nine Japanese applicants and one foreign applicant, by using bibliographic data, examination processes, registration data, overseas application, technical classification, citation data, etc., clarifying Sharp's strength and weakness in the field of IGZO LCP business. We evaluated the strength and weakness together with patent strategy of companies, by using various approaches of patent information analysis. We reached the conclusion that Sharp has advantages against other competitors in the field of IGZO patent acquisitions because of its high registration ratio and few refusal notifications from Japan Patent Office.

Keywords: patent information analysis, patent strategy, IGZO, indium gallium zinc oxide, liquid crystal panels, thin film transistors, TFT, oxide semiconductors, liquid crystal display, LCD panels, liquid crystal polymers, LCP, patents, Japan, Sharp

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