Samsung owns a whole bunch of them, and with iPhone 5 sporting LTE chip inside – Sammy is threatening to launch a round of new lawsuits in Europe, Asia and U.S as soon as the new Apple smartphone hits the shelves.
The theory is – since Cupertino company got into mobile business fairly recently, and didn’t participate much in the development of the wireless standard – they shouldn’t have much to respond with.
But this theory is wrong.
Apple was well aware about the potential complications from the lack of wireless IP when it launched its patent war against Android. So it started quietly buying up mobile standards related patents, and now owns a whole bunch of them.
According to Korean Intellectual Property Office, Apple didn’t have any LTE related patents last year.
This year, however, it is listed as the owner 318 LTE patents. And, with 4.9% of the total, is ranked among top ten of next generation wireless standard IP owners. 44 of the patents Apple developed itself, the rest it bought from Nortel and Freescale. Furthermore, via Rockstar Bidco consortium, which won the bidding war for the rest of Nortel’s wireless patents, and in which Apple has a majority stake, the iPhone maker now controls additional 116 LTE standard essential patents. Bringing its total to 434.
This is only a bit more than half of 819 LTE essential patents Samsung owns today.
But it is much much better than nothing Apple had last year. And may further complicate Samsung’s efforts to fight against Apple’s IP machine.