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Apple and Samsung secure LTE patents ahead of next round of lawsuits

News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday September 12, 2012.

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The ink is barely dry on reports from Apple and Samsung's $1.05 billion dollar lawsuit, but both companies are amassing more patents in anticipation of future lawsuits related to LTE technology. The Korean Intellectual Property Office notes that Apple has increased its total number of LTE patents from 0 in 2011 to 318 today, most of which were acquired as a member of a group that bought Nortel's patents. Samsung has 819 LTE-related patents, a strong advantage that is expected to lead to more lawsuits if Apple announces a new LTE-capable iPhone later today.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in numerous lawsuits related to software and hardware patents, with each company accusing the other of using its intellectual property without permission. The two sides are involved in more than 50 lawsuits in 10 countries, and LTE will likely increase that number to at least 51. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Kwon Oh Hyun have attempted to negotiate a truce since Apple's recent $1.05 billion victory in a U.S. court, but the rivals have been unable to reach agreeable terms. Samsung may use its leading LTE patent holdings to gain leverage against Apple in future negotiations or court proceedings.

It is unknown how many of Samsung's 819 LTE patents are industry-standard patents. Standard patents must be licensed at fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates, so any FRAND patents that Samsung hold would provide little to no leverage in its ongoing battle with Apple.

source: Wall Street Journal

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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