Is Samsung looking to strengthen its patent portfolio?
Last week many informative papers and portals claimed that, once again, Samsung had approached BlackBerry Ltd about buying the company for a whopping $7.5 billion, all in the hopes of gaining access to the company’s extensive and impressive patent portfolio. These rumours have been negated by Samsung and BlackBerry; however, being it isn’t the first time we hear such rumours, we are sure that it isn’t the last time these two technology magnates make the front page of news.
Why is Samsung so fervent about staking a claim in the Canadian company’s patent department? Well, the reason is simple: BlackBerry has some intriguing patents. BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)’s patent portfolio holds two key advantages to any tech savvy company in the world: security and basic wireless technologies. In another report, Blackberry announced that it plans to expand its cross-platform strategy and deliver its often admired security, productivity and communication tools to any smartphone or tablet device running iOS, Android or Windows. So, even if the merger between Samsung and BlackBerry doesn’t take place, their software will still be available and will shift the tides in the mobile industry, especially between Samsung, Apple and Microsoft.
Still, the report puts BlackBerry’s patents in the spotlight. The company has a combination of older patents on the basic functioning of a mobile phone, as well as newer ones on security and on consumer-friendly features such as predictive typing on a keyboard or setting up meeting schedules. Considering the recent attack on Sony Corporation by hackers (in which numerous e-mails and personal information of employees were disclosed), this type of patents are a true treasure chest for any potential buyer because security is becoming more important.
Also, Samsung has recently filed for 11 new trademarks and patents for five new devices, including the new Galaxy J series. The J series are meant to be lower-end mobile devices with older versions of Android, which suggests that Samsung is really trying to cut costs and maybe allocate their resources and energy on ground breaking patents. Among the 11 new trademarks and patents that Samsung has filed for, the most interesting is Samsung Nudge. This patent is listed as a “software used for capturing gestures, facial, and voice recognition for the touchless control of various multimedia devices.” Is this Samsung’s attempt to directly compete with Google or Motorola? We will be on the lookout for these features and more when Samsung presents this week at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.