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Samsung and LG Hit with Smart TV Tech Patent Suit by SoftBank IP Subsidiary

(Image credit: Samsung)

Korean electronics companies Samsung and LG are being sued in a Delaware federal court for patent infringement by DivX LLC, a San Diego, Calif.-based developer of video codec technology owned by an IP-focused subsidiary of Japan’s SoftBank. 

The suit claims the electronics makers, and LG’s RealTek Semiconductor unit, have infringed on four DivX patents via video processing components found in products including smart TVs. (The suit was obtained by Law Street Media.)

Three of the four patents have been filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the last year. The older patent, which was filed in 2011, relates to “multiphase adaptive bitrate streaming.” The newer patents pertain to various video encoding techniques aimed at establishing secure, encrypted connections. 

DivX LLC is owned by Fortress Investment Group, an IP company purchased by SoftBank for $3.3 billion in 2018. Fortress controls more than 1,000 patents and has engaged in a litany of patent infringement lawsuits in recent years, involving companies including Netflix and Hulu, just to name a few defendants. 

According to Statista data (see below), Samsung is the top U.S. smart TV seller this year, controlling about 32% of the market. LG ranks fourth at 12$ market share. 

(Image credit: Statista)