Samsung Electronics Sued for Alleged Smart Home Patent Infringement in the U.S.

Samsung Electronics is embroiled in a series of lawsuits for alleged infringement of patents for smart home IoT technologies in the United States.

Stingray IP Solutions based in Texas filed two patent infringement suits against Samsung Electronics with the Eastern District Court of Texas on Jan. 29 (local time).

They claimed that eight IoT-related patents they have registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) were violated by Samsung Electronics. The patents in question are related to a multi-channel mobile ad hoc network. Stingray IP Solutions pointed the finger to Samsung Electronics’ IoT repeater SmartThings Hub, SmartThings Monitoring Kit, SmartThings Water Leak Sensor and SmartThings Motion Sensor, all of which are sold in the United States.

All eight patents mentioned in the petition had been held by local telecommunications company Harris since the early 2000s but were transferred to Stingray IP Solutions on June 23 in 2020, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Industry insiders believe that Stingray IP Solutions is a so-called “patent troll” that generates royalty profits after purchasing patents. It filed the lawsuits against Samsung Electronics using the eight patents it acquired on the same day.

Stingray IP Solutions took aim at SmartThings, a home IoT technology platform loaded into smartphones, TVs, and household appliances produced or sold by Samsung Electronics in the United States. Samsung Electronics launched SmartThings in2015, one year after it acquired SmartThings, a company specializing in smart homes, in 2014.

Currently, Samsung Electronics is providing smart home technology that controls various products such as TVs, washing machines and refrigerators through SmartThings applications.

Earlier in 2020, Samsung Electronics was taken to the U.S. court for the alleged infringement of patents related to the smart home platform SmartThings. In August 2020, Richman Technology Corp. in the U.S. filed a lawsuit against the U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Electronics with the Western District Court of Texas. Richman dropped the suit voluntarily four months later. The two companies were believed to have smoothly settled the case out of court.

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