EU: Samsung injunctions against Apple breach rules

Dec 21, 2012
A Samsung phone (R) and an Apple Iphone 4 sit on a table in the French western city of Rennes on October 12, 2011. The European Commission said that South Korea's Samsung Electronics was abusing its dominant market position in certain technologies when it took out injunctions against fierce rival Apple.

The European Commission said Friday that South Korea's Samsung Electronics was abusing its dominant market position in certain technologies when it took out injunctions against fierce rival Apple.

As the two giants fight it out in the smartphone and tablet computer market, the Commission said that in this instance, Samsung appeared to be at fault as the injunctions would prevent Apple from access to core shared patents.

"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," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

The Commission said it had informed Samsung that its injunctions over Apple access to Standard-Essential Patents (SEPS) "amounts to an abuse of a dominant market position prohibited by EU anti-trust rules."

In response, Samsung said that it was "studying" the matter "and will firmly defend ourselves against any misconceived allegations."

While Samsung "will continue to fully cooperate with the commission", the company said it "is confident that in due course the commission will conclude that we have acted in compliance with European Union competition laws."

Brussels opened a probe in January after Samsung sought injunctions banning the sale of products made by its competitors in several European countries, alleging that they were illegally using its patents.

Samsung said earlier this week it would drop a request to ban Apple products in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands but would proceed with suits for alleged patent infringement.

Almunia said Thursday of the Samsung decision that he was "very happy ... because one of the most important objections that we have when dealing with holders of Standard Essential Patents is their possible abuse using their ownership (of patents)."

However, the fact remained that the injunctions had been made and so it was that aspect that had to be examined, he added.

Samsung announced the withdrawal Tuesday, saying it "strongly believes it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court.

"In this spirit, 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," it said.

Apple and Samsung have filed lawsuits against each other in around a dozen countries for alleged patent violations over competing products, in particular the iPhone and Galaxy S smartphones, as well as tablet computers.

A US judge Monday denied Apple's request to ban a set of Samsung smartphones from the US market after a jury found the South Korean electronics giant guilty of patent infringement.

Samsung, the world's top mobile and smartphone maker, was ordered by a US jury in August to pay Apple $1.05 billion (800 million euros) in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its flagship Galaxy S phones.

Samsung has appealed the ruling.

Since then, two separate rulings by courts in Japan and The Netherlands have dismissed Apple's claims of patent infringement.

Explore further: Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SKorean antitrust watchdog probing Samsung

Sep 06, 2012

(AP)—South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Thursday it has launched an investigation into whether Samsung Electronics Co. is abusing its dominant position in the wireless market to disadvantage Apple Inc.

Samsung says Germany rejects Apple's sales ban bid

Feb 02, 2012

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Thursday a German court rejected Apple's bid to ban sales of its tablet computers and new smartphones, the latest chapter in a global legal battle between the rivals.

EU probes Motorola in patent war with Apple, Microsoft

Apr 03, 2012

European regulators opened Tuesday two antitrust investigations against Motorola Mobility, bought by US Internet giant Google, in the latest chapter of an escalating patent war with Apple and Microsoft.

Samsung says to drop Europe case against Apple

Dec 18, 2012

South Korean tech giant Samsung is to drop a legal request to ban Apple products in five European countries but will maintain lawsuits for alleged patent infringement, a Samsung spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

16 hours ago

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Apr 19, 2014

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...