European Commission says Samsung’s pursuit of Apple was abusive

“The European Commission has announced the ‘preliminary view’ that Samsung’s pursuit of injunctions against Apple in the courts of various European countries over alleged patent infringement is an abuse of its patent position,” Peter Clarke reports for EE Times.

“The European Commission said that while injunctive relief is appropriate in some circumstances, in a case where patents in question are standard-essential patents (SEPs) and where a licensee is willing to negotiate a license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, it is not,” Clarke reports. “‘Intellectual property rights are an important cornerstone of the single market. However, such rights should not be misused when they are essential to implement industry standards, which bring huge benefits to businesses and consumers alike. When companies have contributed their patents to an industry standard and have made a commitment to license the patents in return for fair remuneration, then the use of injunctions against willing licensees can be anti-competitive,’ said Joaquin Almunia, Commission vice president in charge of competition policy, in a statement.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The proper finding.

26 Comments

  1. I really think the courts need to yank these patents out of the offending companies patent portfolio and put them in the public domain as punishment (and NO further royalties) to keep these bastards from trying it again. Slap ’em down hard!

    1. Could that be a bit short sighted? Apple’s patents for multi touch and pinch/zoom may be determined to be SEP and in your scenario, Apple would have them ripped from them and turned over to Samsung et al.

      I think a company should be allowed to keep their IP and use it to make profits from all the research they did.

      1. Nothing can become SEP unless you as a company first AGREE to make them SEP.

        This happens as part of a STANDARD DEVELOPMENT PROCESS. Like UMTS or 803.7 etc.

        Things don’t just become SEP.

        1. With the way things are going in the courts for Apple, I can foresee the courts saying that for a company to make a smart phone that they must have iPhone abilities and force Apple to ‘license’ the technology.

          1. It might be possible, but if that’s the case all patents everywhere should become invalid including all copyrights. Let the people that invent things get nothing and scam and rip off artists in China and Korea get all the rewards.

            Either intellectual property has value and there are rights associated with it or not. There’s no middle ground here.

            1. I totally agree. The patent system is being eroded by the lawyers and the courts thus providing a disincentive for innovators. I wish it were different and that lawyers would stand for fairness and justice; that they could be people we look up to as arbiters of what is right.

            1. Oh yeah, you’re right. The courts in a democratic country can’t force people to go to war in Vietnam either. The courts in a democratic country can’t make George Bush president when most people didn’t want him elected. The courts can’t do a lot of things that they do anyways.

      2. And that’s the fallacy that the whole Samsung/Google world is operating on – that an invention can be declared SEP simply because lots of people want to use it. There is NO mechanism for this and NO SEP agreement around Apple’s touch screen technology. They’ve simply stolen it, thinking that they should have some kind of SEP rights to it, when Apple has not agreed to it becoming an industry standard. Actually, Apple wants exactly the opposite. They want it to define and separate their products from everyone else’s.

  2. I read the full article on the ee times and they said that they withdrew all of there cases based on sep’s. they did not. they only withdrew there injunction requests. The sep cases remain and there still asking for 2.4% of the end iphone/ipad sales price as there royalties which is ludicrous. Its only about 3000% too high. The EU needs to slap them down hard.

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