By on March 12, 2015

2014 Samsung-Exide BMW M3 DTM at Brands Hatch

Just like the ongoing fight between the two titans in the smartphone space, Samsung is Apple’s main rival in the auto industry.

According to Autoblog, a study by Thomson Reuters looked over 4,761 auto-related patents filed among Google, Samsung, Tesla and Uber between 1990 and 2014 to compare where Apple stands among them in the patent wars. While all have rapidly increased those filings as of late, Samsung is firing full batteries of patents; 600 patents alone were filed in 2014.

Between Samsung and Apple, the differences were stark: the former filed 3,094 over the quarter-century, with more recent patents focused on battery and fuel-cell technology, while Apple held just 275, most of which relate to connected-vehicle technology. That said, the company spent the 1990s rebuilding itself from the clone wars through candy-colored computers, followed by the iPhone-led silver future of the mid-2000s through the present; the auto industry was likely not a primary focus for the late Steve Jobs or his successor Tim Cook.

Thomson Reuters suggests in its study that one way for Apple to better compete in the auto industry — whether it builds a car or not — is to buy Tesla, whose collection of battery patents would compliment the tech giant’s device integration and connected-vehicle patents. The group adds that such a merger would put the duo on par with Google in the patent wars.

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5 Comments on “Study: Samsung Rivals Apple Among Auto-Related Patent Holdings...”


  • avatar
    Noble713

    I’m planning to use Samsung’s Tizen Linux OS for my project car Supra. Possibly on a new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B…

    That said, I’m surprised the bulk of their patents are energy-storage related.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Software patents are a real mess. This maybe a case of protection, if Apple sues Samsung, then Samsung can sue back. Sort of the doomsday device of patent law.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      That’s pretty much the only usefulness of patents these days. The main reason why small startup will not make it big (because the large corps hold all the patents for suing) but can only be bought out. The only way to prevent stepping on others patents is to have a lot of patents that others will step on, as a deterrence of lawsuit, which always end in cross license deals.

  • avatar
    shadow mozes

    Samsung already makes cars and have been doing so since the late 90s.

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