Samsung Aims to Muddy Waters

As the legal battle between Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. heads back to courts in South Korea and Australia in coming days, it appears that Samsung is trying to sow confusion among courts world-wide over different types of patents.

At the heart of the issue are so-called standard patents, which companies contribute to international bodies and make available to other companies, generally for minimal, though reliable, royalties to make gadgets compatible with each other.

Apple is involved in several high-profile patent battles over the rapidly growing market in mobile computing products like smartphones and tablets. But its dispute with Samsung is particularly heated because the Korean electronics company is the biggest seller of smartphones using Google Inc.’s Android software and is about to surpass Apple in overall smartphone sales.

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