Global non-practicing entities (NPEs) are found to have used neglected Korean patents in launching attacks on Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
Patent experts say that Korean companies need to upgrade their patent management and utilization systems to survive global intellectual property war and attacks from patent trolls.
Magnacharge LLC, a U.S. NPE, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics last year based on a battery-related patent it purchased from a Korean inventor. This patent is about a non-contact battery pack charger and was filed in Korea in 2002. It was later registered in the United States as a family patent in 2008. Magnercharge obtained the patents in August last year and filed a lawsuit against LG Electronics with the U.S. Delaware District Court two months later. Magnercharge targeted LG Electronics' wireless charging products.
Magnercharge filed a lawsuit with the same U.S. court against Samsung Electronics and Harman in April this year for an infringement of its patents on wireless charging pads for smartphones and the Galaxy Watch. Global manufacturers such as T-Mobile, Panasonic, Sony, and Anker were accused as well.
A growing number of NPEs purchase various Korean patents for litigation. According to WIPS, a specialist in intellectual property rights, Crosstek Capital purchased about 500 patents from Korean semiconductor companies in 2009, while Convergence IP about 80 patents from Korean electronics companies in 2012.