Samsung strength in LTE patents may well shape future skirmishes with Apple

According to current reports, Samsung is brandishing the LTE sabre with respect to Apple and future patent battles, suggesting any move by Apple to incorporate LTE communications technology into its new smartphones will be met by aggressive IP infringement defenses.

LTE (from Long Term Evolution) is an advanced standard for high-speed communication of wireless data, and most likely will become part of global standards. In order to separate bluster from reality, at BVR’s request, Mike Pellegrino did a search in his IP Analytx database to see comparative strength (in LTE-related patent numbers only) between Apple and Samsung. (Email for a copy of the report.)

Apple has just 23 U.S. patents that mention LTE; Samsung has 121 and ranks number 4 overall. With this differential, it is not difficult to understand why Samsung is posturing. Interestingly, the list reveals RIM as having 60 U.S  LTE patents, which Wall Street watchers will surely act on as the smartphone patent battlefield switches to high-speed communications.