A subsidiary of LG Electronics recently sold more than 100 US patents to an Irish-headquartered companythat has issued a wave of multimillion-dollar lawsuits against well-known technology giants.
LG Innotek sold 95 registered patents and 28 pending patents on wireless charging to Dublin-based Scramoge Technology ahead of its LG Electronic’s announcement this week that it is to exit its smartphone business.
LG Electronics owns 40.8 per cent of the shares of LG Innotek.
Details of the transaction are revealed in documents filed with the United States Trademarks and Patents Office and were first reported by South Korean electronics publication the Elec.
Scramoge Technology shares directors and an address with Atlantic IP Services, a technology licensing group whose associated companies have launched patent infringement lawsuits against consumer electronic companies that include Apple, Microsoft, LG and Sony.
Last month, one of these companies, Solas OLED, was awarded $62.7 million (€53 million) by a US jury in case against Samsung. A few months earlier, another unit known as Neodron reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with 10 of the world's largest consumer electronics giants for infringements of patents related to touchscreen technology that it previously acquired from US company Microchip Technologies.
A number of so-called "patent troll" companies share directors and the same address in Dublin. These also include Data Scape, Arís Technologies, Sonraí Memory and Arigna Technology. These various entities all hold patents for different technologies and all have been involved in litigation campaigns.
The subsidies are “non-practising entities”, meaning they don’t actually make anything of their own but instead go after companies alleged to be in breach of patents they have acquired.
LG earlier this week said it is to wind down its loss-making mobile division after failing to find a buyer, a move that will make it the first major smartphone brand to completely withdraw from the market.