Patent trolls’ attacks targeting South Korean companies are becoming more and more frequent. The Seoul Economic Daily reported on Nov. 5 that 43 non-practicing entities (NPEs) filed 580 lawsuits against South Korean companies from 2012 to June this year and 36 percent and 39 percent of the lawsuits targeted Samsung Group and LG Group, respectively.
The ratio of the litigation that targeted large business groups and companies such as Hyundai Motor Group and SK Hynix as well as Samsung and LG Groups amounts to 90 percent. During the period, Acacia Research Group filed no less than 181 patent lawsuits, followed by Uniloc (91) and IP Edge (40).
The information and communications technology industry accounted for 72 percent of the 580 suits. Such a high ratio is not only because it is one of the most advanced industries but also because software patents based on abstract algorithms have ambiguous scopes. In addition, it has to do with NPEs’ tendency to bring lawsuits indiscriminately. In fact, 68.2 percent of the 580 lawsuits have been dropped based on royalty agreements and so on. South Korean companies won only 3.4 percent of the cases.