EU Investigating Samsung for Potential Patent Abuse

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Samsung is facing a new legal headache, although this time it thanks to a European Commission investigation into potential abuse related to FRAND patents instead of an Apple lawsuit. The focus of the investigation is to determine whether or not Samsung has abused its control over patents that have been deemed essential to 3G wireless technology.

The investigation came to light, according to Foss Patents, thanks to a recent counter-claims filing by Apple in California. The filing stated, in part:

Samsung’s efforts to coerce Apple into tolerating Samsung’s imitation have not been limited to the counterclaims here [in California]. Samsung has launched an aggressive, worldwide campaign to enjoin Apple from allegedly practicing Samsung’s patents. Samsung has sued Apple for infringement and injunctions in no fewer than eight countries outside the United States. Indeed, Samsung’s litigation campaign and other conduct related to its Declared-Essential Patents is so egregious that the European Commission recently has opened an investigation to determine whether Samsung’s behavior violates EU competition laws. Apple brings these Counterclaims In Reply to halt Samsung’s abuse and protect consumers, the wireless telecommunications industry, and Apple from further injury.

The EU Commission confirmed it is conducting an investigation through a statement to Reuters.

EU investigating Samsung for patent abuse“The Commission has indeed sent requests for information to Apple and Samsung concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector,” the agency said. “Such requests for information are standard procedure in antitrust investigations to allow the Commission to establish the relevant facts in a case.”

The agency’s request for information from Apple isn’t an indicator that it is under investigation as well, Instead, it the EU is collecting as much information as it can about Samsung’s patent-related actions, and Apple is in a very good position to offer up details.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting a legal battle over patent infringement claims for several months. Both companies have alleged that the other’s mobile devices use patented technologies without proper licensing, and have filed lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and other countries.

A German court upheld an injunction blocking the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country, and the company filed an appeal in hopes of overturning that ruling. Apple was also awarded a temporary injunction through a Dutch court blocking the sale of some Galaxy devices in the European Union, along with an injunction blocking the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia.

Samsung has requested depositions related to its patent fight from Apple’s vice president of industrial design Jonathan Ive, along with other key Apple employees. Those depositions are due by December 1.

The Commission’s current investigation into Samsung’s patent licensing practices is preliminary, and will help to determine whether or not a full investigation should be conducted.

Comments

RonMacGuy

Oh oh!!

RonMacGuy
MOSiX Man

Well, nobody can legitimately say that this is Apple patent trolling against Samsung, but they probably will anyway. If the UE does find Samsung is misbehaving in this manner, it gives Apple some additional ammo with which to counter Samsung’s patent suits against them.

mhikl

Strange we see no trolling ensuing from this one. The envious must be in tears at wits? end and I am a touch delighted. And Ron, even with my lemon juice I cannot figure out your second post. Not the palsy, I hope.

RonMacGuy

mhikl, I guess I got a little click-crazy with the mouse. I was getting errors trying to post (must be my Windows XP work machine) and when I finally got it to post, I refreshed and saw a duplicate post!! So, I edited it and cleared the duplication.

Don’t count the trolls out yet, as Jeff’s story is but just half a day old. Like cheese, trolls get stinkier over time!!

I was just smiling thinking about the insults tossed my way a few months back since I chose to follow/believe the actual lawyer here instead of those who simply “play one on TMO.” Dance, jester, dance!!

grin

mhikl

Don?t count the trolls out yet, as Jeff?s story is but just half a day old. Like cheese, trolls get stinkier over time!!

I?d be surprised, Ron. This is the EU investigating yukSung! and that nation group is doing it of its own accord. And deliciously seeking info from our favourite fruit stand.
The news from asymco on forums is so uplifting I?m at work in kilt and bagpipes, be damn those knock knees and sour ear; usually not discernible when plying the bagpipes.
And speaking of Lawyering, where is our loquacious partisan? I sought his aid but he must have been in court.

furbies

I sought his aid but he must have been in court.

Maybe a troll got a gag order ?

mhikl

Maybe a troll got a gag order ?

Too clever, Bud. LOL

But of course, all this is in fun and we hold Nemo tops in all courts of converse.

Tom

Settle down all. What this article fails to mention is that both Apple and Samsung are being investigated for violating anti-trust laws.

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/115261.html

Looks like Apple lost against a “David”.  http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2011/11/03/spanish-tablet-firm-defeats-apples-lawsuit.htm.

I hope all the cell phone and tablet companies backlash against Apple’s patent trolling and sue Apple into oblivion.

tom

No wonder Apple is suing everyone with the belief they invented the smart phone, if not the entire cell phone industry. Al Gore, who says he invented the internet is on the board of directors at Apple. Go figure.

Tom

No wonder Apple is suing everyone, believing they invented the smart phone, and feels everyone else’s smart phone would have to be copying theirs.

Al Gore, who takes credit for inventing the internet is on the board of directors at Apple. Go figure, it all makes sense now.

Intruder

Settle down all. What this article fails to mention is that both Apple and Samsung are being investigated for violating anti-trust laws.

Try actually reading the article.

The agency?s request for information from Apple isn?t an indicator that it is under investigation as well, Instead, it the EU is collecting as much information as it can about Samsung?s patent-related actions, and Apple is in a very good position to offer up details.

There have been no claims that Apple is violating FRAND. The same is not true of Samsung (it is part of the Apple case).

And you apparently have no understanding of what a “patent troll” is. Neither Apple nor Samsung are “patent trolls”. They are both aggressively defending patents that they created or acquired and are actively using. Kind of the exact opposite of a patent troll.

You, on the other hand, are fitting in quite nicely with the definition of “forum troll”.

Tom

Reread the article bro., and I don’t mean macobserver, but other website reporting on this news.  They are not investigating just FRAND patents, they are looking at how ridiculous and out of hand these patent lawsuits have gotten.

“The European Commission this week sent requests to both tech rivals concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents, an European Union executive said.”

“Either company could be guilty of violating EU antitrust laws if the Commission determines they are blocking rivals by withholding the essential standards patents. Companies found violating those laws can be fined up to 10 percent of their global profits, which may be a huge blow for either Apple or Samsung.”

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/115261.html

Essential standards patents include FRAND patents and that asinine patent Apple got for a rectangular design.  Someone should be fired at the patent office for giving that to Apple. 

Problem with Macobserver, is well, they like to just see Apple’s side of the story.

Apple is going to get hammered by lawsuits by not only small but big competitors in the cell phone industry, if they don’t stop litigating, but it maybe too late.  Motorola just won an injunction against the sales of Apple products in Germany. Paybacks are a *itch.

http://www.knowyourcell.com/news/1121379/motorola_mobility_wins_preliminary_injunction_against_apple_in_germany.html

Sweet!

Apple’s arrogant lawyers fail to realize, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, Blackberry, and Nokia have been in the cell phone industry for longer then Apple’s been making laptops.  They have a lot of patents from the past that are more legitimate then Apple’s rectangular design patent.  It’s a matter of time, before these companies go through their patent portfolio’s and nail Apple into oblivion.  They are a new kid in the sandbox, who with their success have forgotten some unsaid rules in competition.  Apple is toast in my opinion.

The best they could do in 1 year is Siri, which I hear the server is crashing a lot these days, and they also have battery problems too.  Their products are novel, but inferior to their competition. If you can’t compete, litigate, is Apple’s motto, unfortunately, it’ll only hasten their demise.

I never cared if Apple succeeded or didn’t succeed. They were never a part of my life.  But when they try to sue companies from which I enjoy buying products from, I am a bit disturbed.  Just because they were a few months ahead of a smartphone revolution that was inevitable, doesn’t mean they have a right to stop innovation.

You say they are protecting their patents that they created or acquired, yet you fail to realize, most of these companies rarely do that.  If you say Apple was really protecting the rectangular patent, I say hogwash. Apple cannot compete in the accelerated competitive market of smart phone innovation and they know it. That is why they sued Samsung, who’s phone, the Galaxy SII was in the market last year and light years ahead of Iphone 4, and Apples best response was the 4s, which is still subpar to the Galaxy SII.  Samsung’s Galaxy III, due in January 2012 is suppose to be another huge step in performance and my guess is when the Iphone 5 comes out it won’t or barely compete against the specs. of the Galaxy II, and won’t even come close the the Galaxy SIII.

You don’t have to believe me, wait a few years, Apple will be toast. They cannot keep up with just novel ideas like Siri, to sell phones and crappy battery life.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Apple, they have done some good things, but there are hundreds of companies that have done better things. They have a right to sue, but they don’t deserve to win.

One thing you can be certain about is that Smartphones are the future, and that is why this market is very important to a lot of companies and everyone knows the costs if they lose.

Cherio,

Tom

Tom

Last thing, is it me that doesn’t know what a Patent Troll is or is it you? The definition below describes Apple pretty well.

What Does Patent Troll Mean?
A derogatory term used to describe people or companies that misuse patents as a business strategy. A patent troll obtains the patents being sold at auctions by bankrupt companies attempting to liquidate their assets, or by doing just enough research to prove they had the idea first. They can then launch lawsuits against infringing companies, or simply hold the patent without planning to practise the idea in an attempt to keep other companies productivity at a standstill

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/patent-troll.asp#ixzz1czOLjYhv

zewazir

Can someone PLEASE explain why people who quite obviously dislike Apple Corp. would bother posting on an Apple centric forum?  The motivation is beyond me. I post to forums that are associated with things I enjoy.  Why would I waste my time posting on forums associated with things I dislike?  Makes zero sense to me. Are their lives so pathetically lame that they derive some kind of kick out of posting inane stupidity in an hopeless search for validity? Or, with the oft-repeated theme of deriding Apple enthusiasm, are they attempting some kind of feeble cyber bullying?  Does anyone know?

Tom

Hi Zewazir, sure I’ll volunteer to explain why I do it.

It’s because Albert Einstein once said, “If you think education is expensive, TRY IGNORANCE”

I want to enlighten those who live in ignorance and with their head so far up their butt, that they can’t seem to see the obvious, much less the sunlight.

Call me the teacher who enlightens the foolish. It’s a tough job, since there are so many out there. But if I have enlightened one ignorant individual, my duty was done. It seems though, you slipped through the cracks and are lost cause. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but only they can drink from the river of truth and knowledge.

It’s okay, live ignorant and try to be blissful. But just remember, ignorance being bliss is only temporary. The wake-up call comes to us all eventually.

Looks like Motorola won an injunction against Apple products, can’t wait to see when Samsung and HTC coming up to bat to win injunctions against Apple products.

Steve Jobs said he would bet the entire Apple company to destroy Android, he may just get his wish, the destruction of Apple that is, and not Android.

Apple will be squealing like a little pig, when the other companies win their injunctions. Kharma can be a bitch.

Cherio,

Tom

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