LG Electronics

Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea

Industry sector: Consumer electronics, telecommunications equipment, household appliances

While remaining in the shadow of compatriot Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics is nevertheless the world’s fifth biggest smartphone vendor as of November 2014. A number of recent product launches have cemented its top-five spot, while it is also a major player in home entertainment, household appliances and automotive components. This wide-ranging product offering is reflected in the company’s extensive patent holdings. According to research conducted by IAM and MDB Capital Group in December 2013, LG Electronics owned the 16th-largest portfolio of in-force US patent assets, including 16,388 grants and 7,344 applications. This broad coverage has enabled the company to enter into a number of strategic cross-licensing deals, including a 10-year pact signed with Google in November this year. LG Electronics also has a long history of enforcement, and has proven itself a sophisticated opponent. While cases previously tended to play out with domestic rivals, its expanding geographical footprint means that cross-border suits with international competitors are on the rise. The company has responded to this threat by beefing up its IP team, in particular by adding more foreign-qualified attorneys.