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Company defends its actions, pointing to Microsoft and Apple's strategy: buy other companies' IP; sue with it

Today Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930) smartphones are threatened with bans thanks to Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) ambiguous patents from a decade ago.  And Samsung pays an estimated $15 USD per handset to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) 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.

Samsung Electronics' 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 Corp. (TYO:6724) 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 TV
Samsung Display is looking to play the patent litigation game.  [Image Source: Flickr]
 
An unnamed Samsung spokesperson told 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 according to Display Search.

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.

Source: The Korea Times



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By timothyd97402 on 5/27/2013 1:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
An innovative technology that has been expensive and risky to develop is worthy of patent protection and those who infringe on such a patented technology deserve to be sued if they refuse to license it.

Unfortunately lack of action by our Congress and inappropriate action by our courts have combined to produce a horribly broken patent system on the U.S. and elsewhere.

People today seem to be able to patent a ham sandwich. Patents are too vague and far too broad in scope. Proper attention is not paid to "Prior Art" in excluding patent applications either.

Courts created software patents and that has created a big mess. Apple decides to have their IOS devices do a rubber band effect on screen when a display reaches the end of a list, so they can patent that? I'm sorry, it's cute, but there is no way that should be patentable. It is a simple software trick. Like as not someone has done it before. Apple should not be able to tell me that I can't write a program on my own hardware that does something similar. It is like an author being able to patent a particular plot twist in a book. He can't do it because patents don't apply to authorship and neither should they apply to software.




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