Hisense Toshiba global TV deal unlocks image quality patent and IP treasure chest

posted on Wednesday, 15th November 2017 by Steve May

Commercial  4K  Trade  HDR 

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Hisense has acquired Toshiba’s TV business, in a massive power play that will unlock a treasure trove of IP and patent rights related to TV image quality and acoustics.

The Chinese TV giant will purchase 95 per cent stock shares of Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation (TVS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, for 12.9 billion Yen. Respectively, Toshiba will hold 5 per cent stock rights. TVS operates Toshiba’s TV and digital signage businesses.

The deal gives Hisense Toshiba's TV production, research and development, and sales functions. TVS will acquire a worldwide license to use the Toshiba brand in connection with its visual solutions products and services for a period of 40 years, including in connection with existing TVS business partners in Europe (namely Vestel) and SE Asia. TVS also operates two factories in Japan.

We asked Vestel to comment on the deal and its implications for the Toshiba TV brand in the UK and Europe. This was Vestel’s response: “Vestel would like to confirm that the sale of Toshiba’s TV business will not affect the brand licensing agreement that it has in place for Toshiba TV production and sales across Europe. Vestel remains committed to this pan-European brand licensing business and looks forward to maintaining and building on its success over the course of the coming years.”  

With a 142-year history, Toshiba has been a leading TV technology player in Japan and worldwide, but more recently has been mired in an accounting scandal. Following the acquisition, Hisense says it will develop and enlarge its international strategy TV business in R&D, branding and marketing by operating under multiple brands.

 According to the IHS, Toshiba ranked third in the Japanese market in 2016. Hisense ranked third globally in 2016.

Liu Hongxin, the CEO of Hisense Group, said that Hisense will incorporate TVS’s resources on R&D, supply chain and global sales channels, to provide “competitive content operation services for smart TVs for the global market and accomplishing continued and fast growth in the Japanese market.”

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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