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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 ssnova703 on 5/29/2013 1:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
I never understood why people wish doom on Apple as a business because their product didn't offer an open platform and features. They definitely stirred up the entire industry and consumers are rewarded with better products because of it.

It's the abuse they put on their consumers(sure Apple has that "right" to do so, but as a business tactic it pisses me off), let me explain.

Proprietary standards forced upon us...ok, done! Jk..

I can appreciate some of the industrial design Apple has come out with on their products, but conceptually they were meant to be reliant on Apple(upgrades, repairs, etc.), by design/business tactic, essentially Apple products have a shorter life cycle(as good quality and as well as they may hold their value).

Take for example, the regular MBP, Apple came out with a proprietary screw hole so as to make the consumer go to Apple for upgrades/repairs(with outrageous prices at that).

Their intents were made more obvious with the rMBP, gluing(smothering it with a silicone epoxy like mess) and soldering components, forcing the user to pay higher prices for factory upgrades.

In addition...and yes, one could argue it's Apple's right... but as a someone who wants to develop for iOS due to market demand from the sheeple.. Apple forces a developer to buy a Mac to develop... I hear ignorant sheeple all day long raving, "that's because pc's are inferior or can't handle it"... but it's not that at all(PC's have superior hardware when configured, not to mention they are both x86), it's solely a business tactic... I'm forced to buy a mac if I want to develop for iOS(yes I know about OSX86, however you have to sign the apps and they register your machine...bottomline it's not legit).

All the while, everyone's drooling over Apple products like an accessory item that's "cute" or "purty".

Product life cycle as well... it's all planned and designed(not saying they don't have a right to do so, but it's nasty tactic on the consumer)... for example, even if the hardware could handle the progression of newer updates, they plan a lifecycle cut off so you have to buy the "newest thing". I would go as far to say that almost every Apple product released is purposely hampered/lacking in order to force the user to upgrade to a newer model...this is by their design/business plan This can be foreseen with the ipad mini,intently hampered on release with the older processor and lower resolution... people buy into the buzz(not saying it's a bad product, just it was designed to be axed).. new ipad mini2 comes out... retina screen, A6(maybe x) proc, new camera, BUT... they will probably intently hamper one aspect(my guess is RAM)... and then comes the cut off point ipad mini3 with 2gb ram(all the rest of the specs) for say ios 8, etc. etc. rinse/repeat... they play the same pattern and it's easy to see, which is why I'm annoyed by them, yes it's smart, yes they have the right to do so, yes they have the muscle to force the users/followers to do so.. but with that, I don't like being played... and the sad thing is.... it seems like MS is copying this tactic too to an extent but they haven't gotten their *bleep* together yet.

Samsung on the other hand seems to be catching on to this slightly as well... releasing slightly "hampered" down products in anticipation for the next(Galaxy Note 2, had just enough to make consumers buy it, but with some dissappointment, G Note 3 will not only attract new users, but maybe people upgrading from the Note 2... this is a page from Apple's book, which I despise, but it's not nearly as bad as what Apple is doing.. and with their shiny new releases many don't care)... but not nearly as bad as apple, hence I don't mind them as much. Plus they aren't using proprietary plugs(well, let's face it, if they had the "muscle" to push something, they would, like any company... why? to make money... why? it's a corporation's duty to increase stock value, among other things....but that's a whole different discussion..)

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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