As 4G patent fight looms, Samsung has nearly twice as many LTE patents as Apple

As 4G patent fight looms, Samsung has nearly twice as many LTE patents as Apple

After the latest round in the Apple v. Samsung patent battle went to Apple, Samsung has said it is preparing to sue Apple as soon as it launches an LTE iPhone, which could arrive as early as this month. A new analysis shows that Samsung holds 819 patents for the standard, compared to Apple’s 434.

The Chosun Ilbo reported on Tuesday that, according to the Korean Intellectual Property Office, Apple has gone from having no LTE patents filed with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) last year to 318 it owns outright and 116 through Rockstar Bidco, an intellectual property-related consortium that it holds a majority stake in.

Samsung, on the other hand, is the number one patent holder for the LTE standard, with 819 patents, or 12.7 percent.

Of course, not all patents are created equal, so the sheer number of patents doesn’t directly correlate to the strength of each company’s portfolio. Also, patents lodged with the ETSI are likely to be encumbered by Fair, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing agreements that limit their usefulness for litigation.

Samsung was hit with a $1.05 billion judgment last month after a jury found the company guilty of infringing on its competitor’s patents. Apple will seek to ban sales of eight of Samsung’s devices at an injunction hearing later this year.

The South Korean electronics maker did, however, get let off the hook in Japan in a recent ruling. Meanwhile, in Samsung’s home country, the two companies had to pay minor fines as a result of a split decision.

Samsung could get its chance to sue Apple again sooner than later. The iPhone maker is generally expected to unveil an LTE-capable handset at an event this month, which has been tipped for September 12th. Korean carriers revealed last month that they were talking to Apple about supporting their specific LTE frequencies, and an alleged battery component that also surfaced last month may point to a capacity boost commensurate with the extra power needed for a low-power LTE chip.

(hat tip Unwired View)

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