EU says Samsung offers to stop patent lawsuits in Europe in order to avoid $18.3 billion FRAND abuse fine

“Samsung Electronics has offered to stop taking rivals such as Apple to court in Europe over patent disputes in order to end an antitrust investigation, European Union regulators said on Thursday,” Foo Yun Chee reports for Reuters.

“The move, which may help defuse a long-running patent war between the world’s biggest mobile operators, comes after the European Commission said that Samsung’s patent lawsuits broke European Union antitrust rules,” Chee reports. “It may also help Samsung avert a possible fine that could reach $18.3 billion.”

Chee reports, “The Commission, which also charged Google’s Motorola Mobility with a similar anti-competitive practice in May, said the Samsung case would bring clarity to the mobile telephony industry.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Clarity:

1. Samsung, Google et al. ripped off Apple’s myriad inventions wholesale and then tried to sue Apple over standard-essential patents (SEPs) which are meant to be licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

2. Samsung et al. did this because they were dead in the smartphone/tablet markets if they did not due to Apple’s revolutionary product. Google did this because they got greedy and, instead of working with Apple as they did initially, they wanted to control the market themselves – with Apple’s innovations.

3. All of these companies abused FRAND by tying Apple up in court for years with SEPs they had no business suing over. This threat of imminent death in certain markets due to the enormity of Apple’s innovations does not excuse their actions. These companies should be made to rue the day they turned criminal in order to survive in the smartphone/tablet markets.

52 Comments

    1. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Nope I hope the EU still fines the bastards big. They need a serious punishment and ‘tude correction for all their disingenuous & Seoulless court mischief. Personally I still think the SEP and FRAND in question should be removed from them and made public domain as punishment as well.

    2. Both Samsung and Google/Motorola have made $Billions by copying Apple IP. That is a separate issue.

      What is important here is that they have been seeking to charge Apple (and others) $Billions to use SEPs. They should be fined 3 times what they were seeking to extort from Apple (and others) and should be placed on probation and be required to have a representative of each of the standards organizations sit in on all their licensing negotiations to assure they follow the rules.

      Samsung and Google clearly need some independent adult supervision regarding SEPs. The US government has installed outside supervision at Apple regarding e-Book pricing and negotiations, so there is a clear precedent. The standards bodies need to levy a serious multi-billion dollar fine and then get someone in the room with Google and Samsung to make sure they follow the law.

    1. Meanwhile Apple keeps a tight grasp of the upscale, upmarket knowledgable buyers of computing devices who have the incomes and the desire to keep up in the world & work with similar people.

      I’ve never seen an HTC or Samsung in my business meetings & the Blackberry is quickly going the way of the Dinosaurs.

    2. Samsung “offers” to stop future FRAND abuse to avoid the fine on past FRAND abuse. That makes no sense… It’s like a thief telling the police, “I promise not to steal in the future, if you forget what I’ve done already.”

      The EU obviously needs the money, so they will extract some fine from Samsung.

  1. from the original article:
    “Samsung has offered to abstain from seeking injunctions for mobile SEPs (standard essential patents) for a period of five years against any company that agrees to a particular licensing framework,”
    so, they offer to obey the law FOR FIVE YEARS ?!?

    1. Nope, a well worded “promise” full of loopholes. Just samsung being scamsung. I hope the fine stands.

      @FOSSPatents:
      Samsung’s lawyers drafted a proposal that provides them with plenty of excuses for seeking injunctions against “unwilling” licensees.

    2. On that “5 years” basis alone the courts should realize Samsung has learned nothing and proceed to seriously fine and provide all the needed future Samsung deterrent that comes with that. A cautionary tale for all companies who try to use patent infringement improperly.

  2. Here at Trevor Philips Industries we work with everyone, Apple and Samsung included. We work with the vendor that gives us the best bang for the buck. Sometimes it’s Apple, at other times it’s Samsung.

    We don’t discriminate between the two, only the results of our evaluation matter. If Samsung bests Apple in our evaluation trials, we will use Samsung, no question about it. We value our money and spending resources too dearly to get into fanboy fantasy fights. I suggest you use the same dispassionate evaluation metrics as we do because it doesn’t do to ignore a certain company’s products just because it is in a patent fight with another company. That’s business between the two companies. I don’t see how it should affect our buying decision.

      1. How do you equate Samsung with peddling stolen goods when their products come recommended by trusted review magazines, PC Magazine, C!Net, consulting firms (Accenture, Bain Consult, Booz Allen) and can be found in Walmart, Best Buy, Verizon, AT&T, Staples and any high street retailer. Are they all selling stolen goods?

        Your analogy is defunct.

        1. I do believe that’s the point of the response. Saying Samsung stole product features from Apple. So yes that is what Stolen is saying, that these big name retailers are selling stolen goods. In that case, the analogy stands.

          1. If the analogy stands, you’re using stolen products as well dimwit. Your Apple device contains solid state drives, flash drives, hard drives, IPS displays, A-series CPUs, RAM, in fact 50% of the value of the the bill of materials of an iPhone is manufactured by Samsung.

            1. I don’t know who Trevor Philips Industries is, what they make if anything, but this is a pretty craven mentality. It’s one thing to not know about the thievery of Samsung, and make decisions. But, to know about them and still pretend that it’s OK to buy their stolen IP and support their unethical business practices tells you what you need to know. If TPI has any patents or copyrights, you should not be able to sue if any competitor steals or copies your ideas, after all, you are OK with that, obviously. You are OK with any engineers that work for you having the work product they’ve worked so hard to create for your company stolen to take away your market. After all, your competitors can do what you do more cheaply, so by your criteria that’s hunky dory. It’s people like you that give businesses a bad name. Samsung copied and stole Apple designs, competing with their own customer for the same business. They misused court-ordered license agreements that their lawyers were not supposed to share with them, they’ve ignored and run around court orders making them even more of a law-breaking corporation. And you’re all peachy with that. Got it. Maybe that says a lot about how your company is run.

            2. All of which were legally purchased and licensed.

              We’re talking rail patents (owned by Samsung) versus train patents (owned by Apple). Samsung Google stole Apple’s train tech to make their own trains, then Samsung turned around and sued Apple for using the rails.

        2. You don’t know the history of portable devices very well, nor heard the headline today that the Steve Jobs patent (20 patents) is back into play and could cause the Android ecosystem all kinds of trouble. Even now Microsoft makes more money off Android than Google does. Android itself is basically one huge exercise in theft from Apple and Microsoft. The analogy is spot on on the basis of morality.

    1. I make my living with Macs. If PCs worked better I would use them. Computers are not a hobby with me. Like anyone who is in business, I use what works best. Emotions play no part in my decision. Just cold hard facts. Whether for business or pleasure I try never to waste my money or time. And no, I’m not a fanboy. Apple is an easy decision for me.

    2. I have had numerous business meetings lately and have definitely noticed my own negative reaction when a Samsung phone is pulled out by someone at one of these meetings. My confidence in the judgment of the person is definitely influenced.

      First impressions are important, and that impression is impacted by what phone a sale/marketing/manufacturing rep pulls out. At least it is for me.

  3. Samsung broke the law and caused enormous economic costs and inefficiencies to many parties. They should be fined AND they must stop. Fair is fair. Actions have consequences. Punishment is due to deny at least some ill-earned profits from illegal behavior. And as a deterrent to others in future.

    1. I agree … Although the definition of Justice here should be that Samsung surrenders their SEP patents to the EU to own (and subsequently manage…and collect revenue from).

      Plus the hevy fine for the past abuse.

      -hh

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