Smartphone Industry in an Emergency Circumstance Due to Patent Trolls

Lee Ho-jun, Kim In-soon Aug 09, 2012

The domestic smartphone industry is in a state of emergency due to global “patent trolls” launching a series of attacks.

The industry is highly concerned that Korean companies, which have adapted to a rapidly changing smartphone environment and begun to strengthen their positions in the market, could get caught in patent wars.

Unlike rival manufacturers such as Apple and Nokia, there is no way to reach cross-license agreements with patent trolls through counter-suits. It was noted that strategic responses are required in order to avoid paying a large sum of royalty.

According to a survey conducted by the Korean Intellectual Property Office in April, InterDigital has applied for 321 LTE standard-related patents in Korea. Among them, 118 cases have been registered. 160 cases are waiting for examination.

InterDigital has applied for 618 and 155 patents in the US and Japan, respectively. Among them, 77.8% and 55.5% are under examination.

The industry said that since most patent infringement claims by non-practicing entities contain unilateral content, domestic firms should maintain calm and objective strategies. It was also pointed out that domestic companies should not make the mistake of acknowledging the claimed patents by entering negotiations defensively.

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