According to a report by South Korean newspaper ETNews.com (via Patently Apple), Apple actually owns more US LTE smartphone patents than Samsung, which could play a crucial role as both companies continue to their legal battle over cases of patent infringement.
ETN teamed up with TechIPm, a US IP consulting firm to analyze the LTE patent portfolios of both companies registered with the USPTO on November 21st. Here were their findings:
- Samsung and Apple owned 84 and 91 patents directly related to LTE telephony
- The number of the patents that can immediately be used in lawsuits was 44 vs. 48.
- Samsung outdid Apple in terms of the number of standard patents (17 vs. 2) and communication protocol patents (19 vs. 14)
- Apple surpassed Samsung when it comes to modem-related patents (77 vs. 65); this was thanks to Apple’s acquisition of Nortel’s patents.
Apple obtained 90% of its LTE patents from Nortel and the other 10% from Freescale Semiconductor (which was once part of Motorola). Last July, Apple spent $2 billion for the rights to Nortel’s LTE patents and recently acquired 1,024 more patents from Rockstar Consortium, the IP licensing company which Cupertino owns a majority stake in.
It was just yesterday Samsung’s CEO boldly declared the iPhone would not be possible without Samsung’s LTE patents. Maybe he spoke too soon?