When Samsung and Sony signed their patent-sharing deal in late 2004, it sealed a partnership that included joint development of LCD displays and participation in the Blu Ray alliance. Now Toshiba and LG have signed a similar deal, agreeing to cross-license patents related to HD DVD technology. While no dollar value was attached to the deal, it highlights how much each company is banking on next-gen DVD technology for future growth -- not to mention the continued importance of Korea to Japan's electronics giants, which once thought they could dominate global markets on their own.

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