EU Nails Samsung With Formal Investigation Over 3G Patent Abuse
January 31, 2012 9:32 AM
comment(s) - last by
EU regulators grow tired of Samsung and Apple bickering in court
Europe has been a focal battleground in the international patent dispute between Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) and Apple, Inc. (
). Of late, justices in EU member states seem to be growing tired of the discourse and have been throwing the cases out of court. Samsung has seen this happen several times [
] and Apple has also been on the receiving end [
Further evidence of European regulators' growing frustration came today when Samsung was slapped with a formal antitrust investigation. The investigation follows an
, in which EU officials
reached out to both Samsung and Apple
An EU executive
, "The (European) Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so (seeking injunctions on patent infringements in 2011) Samsung has failed to honor its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards."
Samsung is getting probed. [Image Source: South Park Studios/Comedy Central]
The sticky mess Samsung finds itself in comes courtesy of the "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) rules, which the EU -- like the U.S. -- uses to govern patents on vital technology standards, such as 3G wireless communication technologies. The FRAND rules mandate that the filer show willingness to license the patent.
The EU investigation will probe into whether Samsung broke the law by refusing to license these patents to Apple and suing it with them. A key point of debate will perhaps be whether it is "fair" to deny a company that is trying to sue a firm out of business licensing. Samsung may have a hard time making that case, given the offensive nature it took in the EU campaign, being the
first to file in several regions
The EU is fond of fines; it recently hit Microsoft Corp. (
) and Intel Corp. (
) with fines of over a billion dollars [
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer knows the pain of EU antitrust fines.
[Image Source: OReilly Media]
Apple may relish its rival's misfortune, but it has cause for concern as well. The initial EU probe also targeted it. Given Apple's serial filings in Europe, and overly broad claims ("Samsung says Galaxy Tab 10.1, we say any tablet device" -- Apple counsel) there may be cause for the EU to pursue a formal intellectual abuse investigation against Apple as well.
The EU tends to practice a stricter brand of antitrust law than the U.S. However, the U.S. has increasingly followed in the EU's line, which may spell trouble for both Apple and Samsung.
Samsung's smartphone operating system partner Google Inc. (
) was recently the subject of
an EU antitrust probe
. Shortly thereafter U.S. regulators opened
a similar probe
into its dominant positions (although its U.S. Android position has
weakened of late
in the face of
unexpectedly strong iPhone 4S sales
Apple and Samsung have been warring for market dominance, both in stores and in court. [Image Source: PhoneBuff]
Like Google and Apple, Samsung and Apple enjoy an awkward relationship as business partners-turned-business rivals. Samsung continues to
manufacture chips that are used in Apple's smartphone
, which is by far the best selling smartphone globally, in terms of single-model sales.
Samsung has targeted Apple with a taste of its own medicine of late -- airing
commercials mocking Apple "fanboys"
(extreme fans). The two companies were in a dead heat in terms of smartphone sales in Q4 2012, with
Samsung moving 36.5m units
Apple moving 37m
EU [press release]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: long-term prognosis
1/31/2012 2:36:31 PM
"Aren't there far more pressing matters for the EU to deal with than this silliness?"
Amazing as it may seem, "the EU" is not one person but many many people, all of whom have different jobs. Merkel and Sarkozy are not worrying about antitrust law, just like some anti-trust judge is not worrying about the Greek bailout.
Use some damn common sense, Do you think the courts shut down in the US during WW2 because there were more pressing matters for the US to deal with?
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Samsung is Virtually Tied With Apple, Sells 36.5M Smartphones in Q4
January 27, 2012, 10:29 AM
IPhone Crushes Android in U.S. Q4, Outsells Android 4-to-1 on AT&T
January 26, 2012, 3:09 PM
Apple Has Another Blowout Quarter with $13B in Profit; Sells 37M iPhones, 15M iPads
January 24, 2012, 5:02 PM
Dutch Court Slaps Apple With Another Loss in its Anti-Android Crusade
January 24, 2012, 7:46 AM
Samsung Loses 3G Patent Case Against Apple in Germany
January 20, 2012, 8:42 AM
BlackBerry Passport, Q5, and Z30 Go on Sale Till Dec. 30, Z30 is Nearly Sold Out
December 26, 2014, 4:04 PM
Despite Bump to $99/Year, Amazon Prime Attracts 10 Million New Customers
December 26, 2014, 3:08 PM
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, New Gobi Modem Pass Cat. 9 LTE-A Test on UK's EE
December 25, 2014, 11:30 PM
Happy Holidays From DailyTech!!
December 24, 2014, 5:07 PM
Nokia's Sweet $250 Android Lollipop N1 Tablet is Rumored for Jan. 7 China Launch
December 24, 2014, 1:45 PM
Samsung Preps 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM to Power "4K" Smartphones in 2015
December 23, 2014, 10:38 AM
Most Popular Articles
Miyamoto: Nintendo is Prepping Successor to Troubled Wii U
December 22, 2014, 6:28 PM
Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Drops to $299 (30 Percent Off) for a Day
December 22, 2014, 10:57 AM
Android-Powered BLU Studio 7.0 Claims to be the "World's Largest Smartphone"
December 19, 2014, 2:40 PM
Airbus A350 XWB Passenger Jet Takes Off, First Unit Delivered to Qatar Airlines
December 22, 2014, 1:22 PM
Mississippi AG Drops Anti-Google Subpoena After Dirty MPAA Ties Are Revealed
December 22, 2014, 9:51 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information