SEOUL, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. is focusing on expanding its patent holdings in the United States, industry sources said Friday, amid intensifying industrywide intellectual property rights disputes.
The South Korean company held 119,337 patents around the globe as of end-2017, with the U.S. accounting for 46,150, followed by South Korea with 24,860 and Europe with 10,509. The tech giant had 11,005 and 7,086 patents in China and Japan, respectively, data showed.
Industry watchers said it was also significant that Samsung won 6,072 patents in the U.S. last year and maintains its status as the second-largest holder of patents in the North American country for the 12th consecutive year following Intel Corp.
The number of Samsung’s patents in the key North American company also marked a twofold spike compared with 2009, when the company held 22,513 cases.
Samsung said it is expanding the number of patents in the U.S. to effectively cope with potential technology disputes.
“Most of the patents are related with smartphones, smart TVs, memory and system LSI,” an official from Samsung said, claiming that holding patents in such areas also helps to compete with rivals.
Samsung Electronics invested 16.8 trillion won (US$15.6 billion) in research and development projects in 2017, winning 5,394 patents at home, along with 14,279 from abroad.
“Samsung is expanding investment in R&D projects amid the record-breaking earnings from the chip business,” an industry watcher said. “The company is likely to beef up efforts to gain more intellectual rights.”