LG InnoTek had sold 123 patents registered in the US related to wireless charging to an Ireland-based non-practicing entity (NPE) in February, TheElec has learned.
The decision was likely made in line with parent company LG Electronics’ decision to exit its smartphone business, announced on Monday this week.
LG InnoTek sold 95 registered patents and 28 pending patents to Scramoge Technology on February 2. The pair have agreed to the deal on January 22, according to LG InnoTek’s filings to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The South Korean component maker likely earned millions of dollars selling the patents, people familiar with the matter said. It costs around 10 million won to register a patent in the US already filed in South Korea, while it costs around 40 million won to 50 million won to register a patent in the US from the start. Pending patents cost less. 123 patents would equal around a selling price of US$2 million, the people said.
How Scramoge Technology will use its newly acquired patent remains to be seen. The company, founded in 2019 at Dublin, could file patent lawsuits against Samsung Electronics and other wireless charging module companies.
More and more smartphones are supporting wireless charging, even budge models. Apple’s iPhone SE launched last year had wireless charging. Samsung is planning to apply wireless charging to some of its mid-tier Galaxy A smartphones.
Scramoge Technology is yet to file any patent lawsuits. The NPE is led by a manager at Irish hedge fund Magnetar Capital, whoose managers also run other NPEs with a history of litgation against tech companies, according to US patent risk management service RPX Corporation.
Solas OLED, another NPE backed by Magnetar Capital, had filed various lawsuits against Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display, LG Display and Apple since 2019. LG Display recently ended its patent dispute with Solas OLED.
Meanwhile, LG InnoTek had supplied wireless charging module to LG Electronics. Due to LG Electronics’ decline in its smartphone business, LG InnoTek’s wirelss charging module business also contracted.