By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Display said Thursday it established a company specializing in trading and developing patents in the United States in March.
The display-making affiliate of Samsung Group said it invested $25 million to launch Intellectual Keystone Technology (IKT) in Washington D.C. in a move to beef up its patent-related business. The firm owns 100 percent of IKT.
This is the first time the Korean conglomerate has set up an independent body only for patents, said Samsung officials.
"Samsung recently established IKT. Patents are a good source of innovation and we also need to protect our intellectual property by strengthening our patent-related business," said a group spokesman.
IKT bought display-related patents previously owned by Japan's Seiko Epson on April 30, although Samsung spokesman declined to give details of the transaction.
Industry sources said Epson's LCD- and OLED-related patents were the main targets of Samsung's patent body as the firm is focusing on bolstering its OLED business.
The world's biggest TV manufacturer intends to boost its international presence in ultra high-definition (UHD) TVs that use LCD screens.
"Samsung is eager to buy patents in LCD and OLED technologies as they have undisputable leverage in the display business. and that's the area that can generate revenue regardless of market situations," said one industry source.
"Companies should be paying licensing fees for patents. We are paying to platform providers such as Microsoft in return for using their patents. IKT will be tasked to find out which patents are helpful and valued for Samsung," said the source.