9 Material Issues
The corporate competition paradigm is rapidly shifting from tangible assets such as price, functionality, quality, and other criteria to intangible assets such patents, designs, and the like. Now, intellectual property does not comprise just the results of R&D activities but is recognized as a business and industry. Under these circumstances, Samsung Electronics regards development of key technologies and strengthening of its intellectual property rights portfolio as having core value, and the company has made various efforts to protect its valuable intellectual property patent rights. First of all, a dedicated team for patents was reorganized. We also prepare active defensive measures against potential lawsuits through active patent applications. Moreover, we continuously strengthen our patent alliance by expanding a cross-license patent cooperation strategy with global IT companies.
Patent-related Capacity Building
Last year, the number of patent-related disputes and litigation soared in the United States, the European Union, and in other major economies; the global hegemony of smart devices warns that the war is only going to accelerate. In fact, as the competition in technology is ever intensifying, while the convergence of different IT technologies is in trend, the patent disputes are bound to become fiercer. In particular, it is the smart device as with a combination of communication, video, and software with rapid technology innovation cycles that has escalated patent competition. Samsung Electronics expanded the strength of its workforce significantly and reorganized the patent-related organization in order for it to protect its know-how in technology and to sustain its competitive edge in 2010. At the end of 2010, based on a rapid decision-making process, the Intellectual Property Center (IP Center), affiliated with the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, was brought directly under the pursue of the CEO. Meanwhile,...