Samsung Electronics smartphones are threatened with bans thanks to Apple ambiguous patents from a decade ago. And Samsung pays an estimated $15 USD per handset to Microsoft 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 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.
В прошлом году Samsung проиграла иск Apple. Кроме того, компания выплачивает $15 за каждое мобильное устройство Microsoft. Теперь корейцы намерены уравнять выплаты. Консолидировав патенты в области дисплейных технологий, они собираются применять принцип «лицензируй или судись». Вся интеллектуальная собственность передана компании Intellectual Keystone Technology. Фирма, расположенная в Вашингтоне, явно создана для патентного троллинга.
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.