Apple has filed a complaint against Samsung in Korea with the Korean Fair Trade Commission , complaining that Samsung’s use of patented 3G connectivity technologies that should be licensed under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms to competing companies are being used anticompetitively. Instead of licensing the patents under FRAND rules, Samsung has used the patents in lawsuits against competition around the globe.
The Korean Fair Trade Commission isn’t the only government agency looking into whether or not Samsung is using its influence in the market to unfairly stymie the competition, according to a Reuters report, the European Union is also investigating the company “for possible breaches of antitrust rules by accusing rivals of infringing its technology patents.”
What’s FRAND? It’s a legal term that refers to licensing commitments and obligations that are required by companies that set standards for certain industries. These standard-setting organizations “are the industry groups that set common standards for a particular industry in order to ensure compatibility and interoperability of devices manufactured by different companies.” In this case, Apple is arguing that the patents used by Samsung are required to be licensed under these terms, and that the technology is necessary for 3G interoperability.