US patents for Samsung rise 150%

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US patents for Samsung rise 150%

The legal battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple over intellectual property rights is dragging on for years but, in the meantime, the company has been raking in U.S. patents.

The number of American patents secured by Samsung rose 150 percent in the past four years, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.

Samsung held 34,203 U.S. patents as of the end of last year, the Data Analysis, Retrieval and Transfer System of the local financial watchdog showed. At the end of 2009, that figure stood at 22,513 and rose to 27,524 in 2010, 29,612 in 2011 and 30,641 in 2012.

Last year, Samsung won 4,676 new patents in the United States, making it the company’s largest share of patents outside of Korea.

In Korea, Samsung had 36,559 effective patents as of 2013, including 2,762 patents endorsed last year, the FSS data showed.

The difference between Samsung’s total U.S. patents and its number of Korean patents decreased from 20,138 in 2009 to 2,356 last year.

In a regulatory filing, Samsung said it has secured the second-highest number of U.S. patents out of all companies worldwide each year for eight consecutive years.

IBM has the most.

According to reports, Samsung was the top patent-securing company in Europe last year, and in 2012. As of last year, it had 15,091 patents in Europe and 9,898 in China.

The company’s intensified effort to add patents appears to be a reaction to its legal dispute with Apple, which entered a second phase last week. In the new case, which focuses on different patents from the first, Apple is demanding $2 billion in damages from Samsung.

A California court confirmed last month that Samsung owed $929.7 million in damages to Apple, wrapping up a legal battle dating back to April 2011.

According to the Financial Times, the number of patents secured by Samsung in computer technology was twice as many as the number won by Apple between 2009 and 2012.

Samsung has tried to avoid patent disputes with other global IT companies by seeking patent peace accords. In February, Samsung signed a patent cross-licensing deal with Cisco Systems and Google.

BY moon gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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