Samsung will have the power in the next wave of patent battles, as 4G technology becomes mainstream and legal wars shift accordingly.
In Brief passes down complex events to give you one’s heart with the matter — today and what it means for tomorrow — clearly and.
What’s Happening: Samsung supports the majority of next-generation 4G patents, based on a survey released by IRunway, a technology research firm focusing on litigation support.
Samsung shifted its research-and-development emphasis from chipsets and memory to 4G technologies, particularly features that boost the usage and management of high-speed bandwidth, power and reliability. Consequently, the Korean electronics giant is way and away the most important holder of 4G-related patents, passing on a benefit in the short-term patent battles and also the long-term industry picture.
What’s Really Happening: Samsung is consolidating a particularly relevant section of intellectual property, as carriers and make contact with makers start to increase their 4G offerings. All major carriers are building out their 4G networks in a very race to further improve speed and lock down consumers into lucrative data contracts. Phone lineups will likely start to emphasize 4G-capable phones, and device manufacturers will shift as consumers flock to rapid networks.
The bottomline is, the future of the mobile industry depends on 4G. As the largest patent holder of 4G technologies, Samsung is within a leading spot to reap some benefits on several levels.
What’s Next: Samsung and rival Apple are generally slated to go to settlement talks over their sprawling, complex patent battles, which span nearly 20 lawsuits in 10 countries. Samsung’s 4G IP holdings could have a benefit as each party approach the negotiations, especially since Apple holds relatively few 4G patents. In accordance with iRunway, the iPhone maker isn’t even just in the superior ten of 4G patent holders.
“Samsung is much ahead of the curve, with approximately 50 percent more patents than its nearest rival,” said Animesh Kumar, co-founder of iRunway. “And Apple must license plenty of 4G technology.”
With a valuable list of patents on a key emerging technology, Samsung could negotiate a favorable settlement with Apple, the one which creates a lucrative licensing agreement relating to the two companies.
However, Apple could still hold on against its market rival. In their analysis products it calls “seminal patents” — patents particularly valuable for impact, innovation and legal strength — chip and memory maker Qualcomm may be the top holder, in accordance with iRunway, accompanied by Samsung. Apple already licenses 4G technology from Qualcomm, a serious licensor, and definately will likely continue that relationship.
Apple’s disagreement with Samsung in their patent wars also mostly covers OS and gui. Samsung is fairly weak on UO patents, a region of strength for Apple, so Apple could still the top of hand in key regions of its legal argument.
The Takeaway: It doesn’t matter what is situated the actual Apple legal war, Samsung’s strength in 4G patents — along with key rivals’ relative weakness within the same area — behaves the Korean company well in the long run, especially as 4G ramps up in the industry. It will likely be a powerful position to license key software and operating features with companies, garnering Samsung healthy levels of revenue in both are massive lump sums or a part of rival handset revenues.
More ominously for its competitors, Samsung’s patent portfolio puts it in a strong position to initiate patent infringement litigation in a industry in which the fight is simply as fierce inside courtroom as it is out there.
Currently, patent battles target 3G technologies. But 4G could be the standard within the next three to five years, and also the focus of lawsuits will shift accordingly. “Companies which are at the forefront of previous patent battles might discover themselves outmaneuvered by people with already invested heavily within the 4G arena,” said Kumar.
Unless companies like Apple begin ramping up their IP of this type, they can are vulnerable over the following wave of patent wars.