EU Investigates Apple, Samsung for Possible Patent Misuse
November 5, 2011 11:52 PM
EU is looking into possible FRAND violations
Both Apple and Samsung have been fighting a patent battle in several countries and each are alleging the other is infringing on patents that they hold. Apple has been able to secure sales injunctions in some areas. Samsung has sought injunctions on Apple gear but so far has been unsuccessful.
reports that both Apple and Samsung are under investigation by EU regulators that are seeking to determine if the two tech firms have violated antitrust laws with the massive number of
infringement claims each are alleging.
"The (European) Commission has indeed sent requests for information to Apple and Samsung concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector," the European Union executive said in a statement.
"Such requests for information are standard procedure in antitrust investigations, to allow the Commission to establish the relevant facts in a case. We have no other comments at this stage," it added.
Apple continues to argue its part in courts claiming that Samsung is copying its designs. Some of the claims against Samsung have to do with violations of FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) for licensing patents to competitors. The FRAND terms say that Samsung and other firms must license specific types of patents that are for basic things and must not try to stop a product or sue a company that is willing to enter into a fair and reasonable licensing agreement.
Apple is arguing that the amount Samsung is seeking in patent licensing fees is unreasonable. Samsung is arguing that its 3G patents aren't subject to FRAND terms while Apple claims they are.
According to anti-Google IP "expert" Florien Mueller, "Samsung went too far by trying to shut down Apple's products with its 3G patents in nine different countries on four continents. That's a recipe for triggering antitrust intervention."
"This investigation has huge implications for Apple's dispute with Samsung, but way beyond those two companies, it's about the kind of licensing commitment the entire technology industry relies upon."
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
Apple Refuses to License Some Patents to Samsung, Samsung Fires Back
October 17, 2011, 12:28 PM
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