Samsung Buys Epson Display Patents, Plans License-or-Sue LCD Patent Campaign
May 27, 2013 11:00 AM
Company defends its actions, pointing to Microsoft and Apple's strategy: buy other companies' IP; sue with it
Today Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
are threatened with bans
thanks to Apple, Inc.'s (
) ambiguous patents from a decade ago. And Samsung pays
an estimated $15 USD per handset
to Microsoft Corp. (
) for its war chest of patents. In other words, the world's best-selling smartphone maker has received a cold hard crash course on the twisted state of the U.S. intellectual property system.
Now it's looking to apply those hard-earned lessons and do some patent harassment of its own.
sister-firm Samsung Display
announced this week that in March it spent $25M USD to buy up patents on LCD, LED, and OLED display technologies from
Japan's struggling Seiko Epson
) and launch a shell company, Intellectual Keystone Technology (IKT).
Based out of Washington, D.C., the new firm isn't exactly bashful about its objectiveness, which are the same as those of most shell companies: find corporate targets, demand they license, and sue if they don't comply.
Samsung Display is looking to play the patent litigation game. [Image Source: Flickr]
An unnamed Samsung spokesperson
The Korea Times
, "Companies should be paying licensing fees for patents. We are paying to platform providers such as Microsoft in return for using their patents. IKT will be tasked to find out which patents are helpful and valued for Samsung."
Samsung Display was the world's largest LCD TV shipper in Q1 2013
The patents from Epson include a number of patents on
organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)
, a new form of display technology that's expected to dominate the television and mobile device display industry over the next few years. The patents also cover ultra-high definition display technologies, such as the
"4K" display format
that debuted commercially this year.
In other words, the Samsung Group -- having played the victim in the U.S. -- appears to be embracing the patent industry's dark side, with lots of juicy targets to sue.
The Korea Times
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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