Samsung sets up a US patent office to protect its intellectual property

When Apple takes you to the cleaners, you get prepared it seems. Korean tech giant Samsung has announced a US$25-million venture to set up Intellectual Keystone Technology (IKT), its own Washington DC-based patents firm.

According to a report from the Korea Times, the business opened its offices in March and it is the first time that Samsung has created an independent arm dedicated to just patents.

“Patents are a good source of innovation and we also need to protect our intellectual property by strengthening our patent-related business,” a Samsung spokesperson told the paper, confirming the US-based business.

This new business venture for Samsung makes perfect sense following its unforgettable defeat last year in its months-long battle with chief rival Apple. With US court awarding Apple a win in its billion dollar smartphone patent infringement dispute.

According to people familiar with the matter, this new patent office will focus on display technology rather mobile design in the Samsapple battles.

“Samsung is eager to buy patents in LCD and OLED technologies as they have undisputable leverage in the display business. And that’s the area that can generate revenue regardless of market situations,” said one industry source quoted in the Korea Times.

Patents in the tech space are becoming an issue for much contention with industry players constantly at crosshairs over design, tech and usability infringement. Companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google hold a fair amount of patents that require licensing fees from their competitors.

“Companies should be paying licensing fees for patents. We are paying [money] 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,” an anonymous source told the Korea Times.

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