Samsung Drops Apple Sales Ban Requests in Europe

| Analysis

Samsung has dropped all of its requests for sales injunctions against Apple devices based on standards-essential patents (SEPs) in Europe. Bloomberg reported that Samsung claimed the move was for the sake of the people, though FOSS Patents noted that the withdrawal mirrors an antitrust investigation being conducted in Europe against the company.

“Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice,” Samsung said in a statement given to Bloomberg, pretending that anyone would believe that for a picosecond.

It's So Bright, It Hurts...

When's the last time any major corporation volunteered to do so something, "in the interest of protecting consumer choice?" At least Apple owns up to pursuing Samsung for the sake of preventing what it sees as the world copying its inventions.

Samsung has sued Apple for infringing on its SEPs because it was the only defense the company had against Apple's claims that Samsung's devices infringed on its design and utility patents. The reality is that courts and regulatory bodies alike have been unwilling to grant injunctions based on SEP claims, and the EU was about to bring the hurt on the company for even trying.

"There can be no doubt whatsoever that the European Commission was behind this," Florian Mueller opined at FOSS Patents. "Samsung would never have done this voluntarily, especially not in jurisdictions such as Germany that do not rule out SEP-based injunctions at all."

Mind you, Samsung did not withdraw its lawsuits. The company is still pursuing damages and licensing agreements for its SEPs, something the company is likely to win in one form or another.

Apple does not have licensing agreements in place for some of the SEPs in question. In some cases, Apple claims it is covered by licensing already paid by component makers—an argument the company found successful in the U.S. this past August.

In others, Apple has claimed that Samsung has not honored its commitment to license its SEPs on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. Samsung has denied those charges, but the reality is that courts around the world are likely to impose FRAND terms on the two companies for the SEPs.

In the meanwhile, Apple lost its own bid to secure a sales ban against Samsung for infringing on its design and utility patents in the U.S. earlier on Tuesday. For its part, Samsung's claims of jury misconduct were also denied.

Image made with help from Shutterstock.

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