Samsung is in danger of being embroiled in another patent dispute before the patent battle with Apple is finalized. This time, it relates to the semiconductor area, the Korean tech giant’s pride and main business. Industry analysts are saying that as Samsung has been dragged into the patent infringement lawsuit with Apple for years, the Korean company itself has become a target of global Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), or patent trolls.
According to industry sources on March 13, US patent company DSS Technology Management (DSS TM) brought charges against Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to the US District Court for infringing on its technology patent acquired in 2013.
This is the fourth time for the Korean firm to be sued for patent infringement in the semiconductor field, following a lawsuit brought by Texas Instruments in 1986, Rambus in 2005, and Spansion in 2008. At that time, Samsung signed a license agreement with these companies, or paid indemnities.
The technology in question is reportedly related to the manufacturing process of semiconductors. Formerly known as Lexington Technology Group, DSS TM is a subsidiary of Document Security Systems.
In fact, DSS TM filed a lawsuit against Apple for infringing on two patents connected with the use of wireless peripheral devices last year. The US patent troll said that the iMac, Mac mini, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod nano and the forthcoming Mac Pro infringed one or more of the claims of its patents in providing wireless Bluetooth connections to a plurality of peripheral devices.
Previously, ZiiLABS, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Creative Technology, brought a legal action against Samsung and Apple to the US District Court for its patent associated with graphics processing units (GPUs).
Experts are saying that Samsung’s legal battle with Apple contributes to the fact that Samsung is constantly drawn into patent lawsuits.
An official at the Korea Patent Attorneys Association explained, “Samsung has been benefiting a lot from its patent lawsuit with Apple, but suffering heavily at the same time.” The official stressed, “In particular, the great loss is that global NPEs have started to pay attention to the Korean firm. So, additional patent disputes cannot be ruled out.”