Samsung Electronics has given exclusive licensing rights of its 96 patents related to semiconductors to one of its IP subsidiaries, a move that could indicate that the tech giant may use patent lawsuits to protect its business interests in the sector.
The company gave the rights over the 96 US patents to Intellectual Keystone Technology (IKT), a subsidiary of Samsung Display which is itself a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, in June, TheElec has learned.
Samsung also gave exclusive licensing rights of 35 patents in registered in South Korea to IKT.
The patents are over FinFET and memory chip technologies.
IKT can enforce exclusive rights over the patents and use them to file lawsuits anywhere in the world according to the contract with Samsung.
The chip industry is going through a downturn. At the same time, Samsung, the world’s largest memory chip producer, is facing stiff competition from its rivals SK Hynix and Micron.
Samsung isn’t the only one that runs an IP subsidiary. Other tech firms such as Panasonic and Nokia have also formed patent and IP subsidiaries to gain licensing fees.
Samsung Display is the largest shareholder of IKT with a 41.9% share, followed by Samsung SDI’s 41%.
IKT was formed in 2013 and received 154 patents related to display and solar cells from Samsung SDI and Japan’s Seiko Epson. It received the patents from other companies after 2015.
IKT, together with Samsung Display, filed a US patent infringement lawsuit against JOLED and Asus in the US back in 2021.
Meanwhile, last year, LG Electronics made 890 billion won through the licensing of its telecommunication patents.