“I have seen several Korean news reports, of which I obtained machine translations (Google Translate), on an announcement today by the Korea Fair Trade Commission, South Korea’s antitrust authority, that Apple’s complaint against Samsung over its pursuit of injunctive relief over FRAND-pledged standard-essential patents (SEPs) was rejected,” Florian Müller writes for FOSS Patents. “The KFTC found Samsung’s conduct to be above board.”
“The KFTC had been investigating the matter since the summer of 2012 further to a complaint lodged by Apple in April 2012. The regulatory agency has now determined that Samsung is ‘not liable’ for a violation of Korean antitrust law, called the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade law,” Müller writes. “This wholesale acquittal contrasts with the state of FRAND antitrust matters in other jurisdictions… I do, however, attribute the outcome of the Korean antitrust case in no small part to the fact that regulators in the West failed to make much sharper decisions. The KFTC ruling appears to be far more SEP holder-friendly than anything the DoJ, FTC or European Commission ever indicated in this context, but unlike in August, when I wondered whether South Korea was on the verge of becoming a ‘FRAND rogue state,’ all I can say now is that basically the Korean competition regulators have taken the worst parts of certain Western rulings, positions and almost-accepted settlement proposals on SEP injunction issues, have taken those worst parts to a new level, and added at least one absurdity of their own to the mix.”
“Korean media appear to be well aware of the fact that this decision is different from the conclusions reached elsewhere in the world on these issues, and at least one Korean law professor (who is also licensed as a U.S. attorney-at-law and patent attorney) said that while Samsung is entitled to royalties on its SEPs, seeking sales bans over them is ‘problematic,'” Müller writes. “In the long run I believe the KFTC’s conclusions won’t benefit Korean companies and consumers either, even if this may be viewed as a win for Samsung in the short term.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Samsungorea strikes again. (Try some Pepto!)
Oxymoron of the Year, so far: “Korea Fair Trade Commission.”
They don’t call South Korea the Republic of Samsung for nothing.
The way South Korean’s have surrendered their country, losing it under the thumb of a corporate chaebol should be a chilling warning to other, still autonomous, countries around the world.