Apple acquired as many LTE patents as possible in preparation for Samsung’s legal assault

Just because Apple won over Samsung doesn’t mean it is the end of the nasty feud between these companies. While it’s true they are good business partners outside the court, the South Korean manufacturer actually threatened to file LTE patent cases against Apple once iPhone 5 is released.

Considering the Cupertino-based tech giant started its mobile business venture relatively late than Samsung, it hasn’t been able to participate in the development of wireless standards. Several reports suggested that Apple had no LTE patents in its possession making it the easiest prey for all LTE patent cases.

However, when the company filed cases against Samsung over design patents earlier this year, it has already been expecting that the Korean manufacturer will retaliate. In fact, Samsung has been so vocal about its new plan on suing Apple over LTE patents. But as their legal battle in court gained momentum and stirred the tech communities, Apple has been silently buying LTE patents from Nortel and Freescale while developing a few of its own.

In the first half of this year alone, Apple has already acquired 434 LTE patents in total. Evidence that is it planning to take a bigger piece of the pie in the market rather than using pre-existing patents developed by other companies especially Samsung’s. Apparently, the South Korean manufacturer is currently the first on the list of patent holders with 819 or 12.7% of the total LTE patents registered European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

“This shows that Apple has been taking strategic steps to acquire intellectual property to prepare for potential legal disputes before it launches its own LTE smartphones,” said a Korea Intellectual Property Office.

Apple has already proven in court that Samsung copied some of its design patents. Its acquisition of 434 LTE patents maybe a key to suing other industry players in the future but at the same time making defenses against foreseeable and predictable assault by its fierce competitor.


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