By Chris Nicholls

SEOUL: LG Electronics has announced a cross licensing agreement with GE Consumer & Industrial, allowing each company to use the others’ refrigerator and cooker patents without licensing fees.

The agreement is not the first time LG and GE have collaborated on cooking appliances, with the two having worked together in various forms since 1999. The agreement will be especially helpful to LG, though, as it will apparently help the company expand its presence in digital appliances globally. However, the company already sells its products through all three of the top retailers in North America: The Home Depot, Sears and Best Buy.

LG also company partnered with Matsushita’s air conditioning division in 2001 and allied itself with both Microsoft and Intel in 2002 in the home networking sector.

LG Electronics Digital Appliance Company president and chief executive, Young Ha Lee, said the deal would help them move higher in the global appliance rankings.

“We believe that this licensing arrangement with GE will enhance our ability to deliver winning products and move us further toward our goal of becoming one of the top global brands in consumer electronics and home appliances," Lee said.

The companies marked this new cross license agreement with a ceremony held at LG’s R&D Campus in the Gasan area of Seoul, Korea. Executives from both companies attended the ceremony.