It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Samsung holds the most number of tech patents globally. But a downside of this marvelous achievement is that the company is easy prey for patent trolls, which are companies that hold patents but don’t manufacture any products using the patented technology. Formally called non-practicing entities aka NPEs, their purpose is to make money by licensing patents, at least that’s what they say. In practice, they often launch patent infringement lawsuits against big companies to earn money.
One such NPE called Scramoge Technology has recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, Business Korea reports. According to the report, the Dublin-based company alleges the Korean brand of using its patented wireless charging technology without appropriate permission. It is claiming infringements of as many as seven wireless charging patents. The company has mentioned the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 among the infringing products.
This isn’t even the first lawsuit Scramoge Technology has filed against Samsung alleging patent infringements. It had sued the Korean behemoth on two more occasions last year, one each in April and August. The company had reportedly acquired those patents (123 in total) from LG Innotek a year ago.
Scramoge Technology is owned by Atlantic IP Services, which is said to be a “notorious” patent troll group. Its subsidiaries Solas OLED and Neodron have also previously filed patent suits against Samsung as well as LG.
In the latest lawsuit, Scramoge Technology has filed damage claims against Samsung. Industry analysts suggest the Korean brand has “an uphill legal battle” in its hand.
Samsung has faced numerous lawsuits from patent trolls lately
Samsung‘s troubles against these patent trolls are not new. According to the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency (via The Korea Times), the Korean behemoth has faced as many as 403 patent infringement lawsuits between 2017 and May 2021 in the US. These include lawsuits by former company executive Ahn Seung-ho who now owns an NPE called Synergy IP.
In partnership with an American company called Staton Techiya LLC, Ahn has filed ten patent lawsuits against Samsung. The lawsuits allege infringement of wireless audio technologies as well as some Bixby AI (artificial intelligence) technologies. Ironically, Ahn oversaw the company’s patent management during his time at Samsung, from 2010 to 2019.
“The lawsuit was made known to the public by a court in the US state of Texas. It is our principle not to discuss any legal disputes we are currently going through,” a Samsung spokesperson said.
Companies like Samsung, which are easy prey to patent trolls, are reportedly strengthening their patent management systems to better defend these lawsuits. Adopted strategies include “signing cross-licenses” with companies all over the world. Hopefully, these measures will help them with their legal battles in the future.