Toby Wellington, December 20, 2012
Just a few days after hearing the U.S. judge’s decision denying Apple’s attempt to ban various Samsung devices, Samsung has received some bad legal news over in Europe. The European Commision has stated that they are set to charge Samsung with violating EU competition rules and anti-trust laws for having filed lawsuits against Apple. This announcement comes two days following Samsung’s decision to “drop its lawsuits against Apple for standards-essential patent infringement in Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and the Netherlands.”
Standard-essential patents are patents that are required in the creation of any one piece of technology. For example, if Samsung patented something that became essential to have in every cellphone, this would be a standard-essential patent. Samsung is then forced to license out these patents under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
Samsung had launched a number of lawsuits against Apple and other companies for infringing on their standard-essential patents. After doing so, however, the European Commission opened an investigation into Samsung as to whether the licensing agreements they had set up for these standard-essential patents were actually “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.”
Pressure from this investigation is likely what led Samsung to drop all of its standard-essential patent lawsuits two days ago. However, Samsung gave another reason for why it was deciding to drop the pending lawsuits: “We strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court,” stated a Samsung spokesperson. Yeah, okay.
“We will issue a statement of objections very soon,” said European Union competition chief Joaquin Almunia. There should be more news on this in the coming days; however, things don’t look too good for the South Korean tech giant.Follow @macgasm