Samsung ordered to remunerate former employee for his patents

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Law

Samsung’s woes never seem to end. In another form of patent “war”, the Seoul Central District court has ruled that the South Korean electronics giant has to pay a former employee US$5.8-million in remuneration for patents he developed, or help develop, during his time as head of research and development for its TV business. During this time it’s estimated that Samsung garnered an estimated US$57.76-million from these inventions and patents.

According to Yonhap News, the employee is known only by his last name, Cheong, and was the leading man in the research and development of HD televisions between 1991 and 1995, contributing 28 international patents and 10 local patents for Samsung Electronics. After his resignation, Samsung refused to award Cheong for his contributions in the manner he deemed fair, and Cheong then filed a lawsuit.

In its ruling, the court said: “After putting together Cheong’s leading role in inventing the patents, the size of Samsung Electronics and the profits due to Cheong’s patents, the inventor should receive 10 percent of the profits in compensation.” This comes after he was awarded compensation of about US$ 185 000 by Samsung.

The patent problems seem to be piling up for Samsung, as the ongoing war with Apple is not all over. Ericsson has joined the fray after it said negotiations relating to licensing fees have failed, prompting Ericsson to sue. “Ericsson has tried long and hard to amicably come to an agreement with Samsung and to sign a license agreement on FRAND terms,” Ericsson’s chief intellectual property officer Kasim Alfalahi said. “We have turned to litigation as a last resort.”

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