European Commission investigates Samsung over possible abuse of FRAND patents against Apple

“Samsung’s various attempts to shut down Apple products — most recently the iPhone 4S — with patents declared essential to the 3G industry standard have now given rise to an antitrust investigation by Europe’s top competition ‘watchdog,'” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “This is the most important development to date related to the world-spanning dispute between these two companies.”

“This investigation has the potential to force Samsung to withdraw most of its claims against Apple, but let’s not forget that the underlying issue concerns the technology industry at large,” Mueller reports. “Everyone — not just Apple — relies on FRAND standards.”

Mueller reports, “Here’s the passage again, with the sentence on the European Commission investigation highlighted by me: 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.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For Samsung, the shit just hit the FRAND.


    1. Damage done? Oh no. There are no damages yet, but wait till the European Comission starts bounding Samsung. 😀
      This is the most stupid move made by Samsung and now they will suffer.

      “For Samsung, the shit just hit the FRAND.”

    1. If you’ve bought an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad recently, Samsung makes the Apple-designed A4 and A5 CPU inside every one of them. And there are probably other Samsung-made parts inside as well.

      What will really hurt Samsung is not a few people boycotting products that say “Samsung” on the outside, but Apple taking its CPU fabrication business to a Samsung competitor. Until that happens, Apple is funding its own competition.

      1. I don’t believe this to be true. If people stopped being Samsung’s consumer products, Samsung would definitely feel it. After all its a consumer product they used to infringe. I could care less if Apple used their parts in the phone. I just don’t want Samsung thinking they can turn around and use Apple’s designs in their consumer level stuff.

        If they garner enough public ill will over this and the only good customer they have left is Apple, they’ll feel it for sure. Never underestimate people hating your guts.

        1. Yes, if EVERYONE did it. But I doubt there is any PR angle Apple can take that will make that happen, or that Apple even wants that to happen. For most people, a smartphone or tablet computer is a product; they choose the one they want from the choices that are available. A TV, microwave, or washing machine is a completely different choice. They are NOT related.

          Apple’s “angle” is to get Samsung’s copycat mobile products off the table, so that they are not available choices. It is NOT to cause the public to boycott all Samsung products. Apple gains nothing from causing Samsung to lose sales of their products that do not religiously copy iPhone and iPad.

      2. Would you be happier if people like Bono said he didn’t buy FINISHED Samsung products? He’s doing what he can. He can’t help if Samsung is providing internal components to manufacturers.

        Actually, I think it hurts Samsung far more when its BRANDED products aren’t purchased.

  1. One has to wonder how Samsung is coming up with it’s legal strategy. Is it their legal team? Some exec forcing their will and making the legal team do these things? So far, all they do is bumble and suck.

  2. Shamstung is desperate to have a patent bargaining chip even if it makes no legal sense at all and fools no one. They’re shootin’ blanks. They so busy firing their “weapons” they haven’t opened their eyes yet to see that everybody is still standing, and laughing.

  3. Other European big players are behind Apple because they can’t allow Samsungs behavior to be open these license agreements. The hole system would explode. The bunishment will be in hundreds of millions if not Billions of Euros so this will be extremely expensive for the Samsung. So thank you Samsung for digging the hole and now bye bye.

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