Samsung Buys Epson Display Patents, Plans License-or-Sue LCD Patent Campaign
May 27, 2013 11:00 AM
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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 (
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
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Patents server a purpose but...
5/27/2013 1:45:37 PM
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.
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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