Samsung could be fined billions for trying to ban Apple products in Europe
Google's wholly owned Motorola subsidiary is also being looked at by the EC for using its standards-essential patents for Wi-Fi and the H.264 video standard to seek a European sales ban on Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Windows Phone handsets. Both Samsung and Motorola could face fines in the U.S. where the FTC this month ruled that Motorola was using its FRAND patents to "hold up" Microsoft. Samsung is being investigated in the U.S.as the Justice Department is examining the Korean tech giant's actions toward Apple with its FRAND patents.
There is a big difference between the patents Apple has been trying to protect with its law suits, and the FRAND patents owned by Samsung and Motorola. Apple seeks to defend the illegal use of patents it owns which are not essential to a product such as the "pinch-to-zoom" gesture, and certain design patents that are in in Apple's IP portfolio. The patents being used by Samsung and Motorola are considered standards-essential which means that because they are essential to the production of a product, the owner of the patent must license it at a fair and reasonable basis to all who request it. If a price cannot be agreed on, both sides must accept the licensing fee determined by the court. Apple said it would pay Samsung for the rights to use the patents in question, but both parties could not agree on the price.
Just before the EC's Competition arm made its statement on Friday, Samsung withdrew its request for the European sales ban on the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, but has continued its lawsuit against Apple for using Samsung's patent without licensing it. European commissioner for competition Joaquin Almunia says that allowing companies like Samsung that own FRAND patents to ban sales when licensing cannot be agreed on, is akin to a "hold-up" since these patents are essential for a company to operate in a particular market. The EC also decided that since Apple had offered to pay a licensing fee to use the patents, a ban on its products was not warranted''.The commission added, "Recourse to injunctions harms competition." Now it will be up to Samsung to reply after which the EC will announce a fine or take some other action.
18. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 2735; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
That's what happens when you try to put a price on fair and reasonable.
28. jroc74 (Posts: 3601; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
You have been waiting to say that line for months... Whats a fair price to you?
36. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 2735; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
You can't put a price on something that's a standard in many devices.
40. jroc74 (Posts: 3601; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
What part of ..."the F in FRAND doesnt mean FREE" dont you understand...
No matter how much you want it to be...it .....does...not....mean....FREE. Apple will have to pay something for it, how much is the question.
54. MeoCao (unregistered)
The problem for SS is they obviously did not ask for such a fee from Apple before, and they possibly do not demand such a fee from many companies right now.
Therefore EU can charge SS for anti competitive practices.
but I guess the fine will be a few millions dollars at most as SS have withdrawn their claims w/o any harm to Apple business.
38. Zero0 (Posts: 557; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
Nor can a price be put on common sense.
Most patents are either on something natural (pieces of DNA), standards essential, or obvious these days. The IP landscape as a whole is pretty awful.
5. nwright94 (unregistered)
Exactly. It's ridiculous and it makes these comment threads a breeding ground for trolls, both on apple and samsungs side.
24. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)
I'm honestly tired of the lawsuits because it makes it devastatingly difficult for anyone to produce a smartphone without getting sued. There was a story about how Volvo invented and patented the 3-point seat belt. Then, in the interest of public safety, allowed anyone to use it. Sure, smartphone parts/features aren't life or death, but technology as a whole is being held back because no one can move forward without a lawsuit. I get protecting your stuff...but if you're suing over a gesture, I'm not sure what to say. Some features are better for the industry. Innovate on things that actually matter and be happy you were the first to do it.
I love Apple and Samsung, but this s**t needs to stop.
68. MeoCao (unregistered)
This not a matter of life and death for us, but for the executives involved it's a matter of success or failure, victory or defeat with huge bonuses attached.
Sadly it will go on.
39. Zero0 (Posts: 557; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
Someone on the Internet speaking reason, instead of fanboy nonsense? Insanity!
They're all getting ridiculous. Call off the lawsuits. Get out of the courtroom and back to the lab, all of them.
4. Ninetysix (Posts: 1009; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
Does not matter. The fandroids will find a way to defend SamSUEng.
6. serious9010 (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
I guess Sam's Sung quite enough. Now it's time for karma to sing.
23. joey_sfb (Posts: 1852; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
We don't support any form of lawsuits. Lawsuits does nothing to advance our technology and interests.
49. corporateJP (Posts: 1183; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
Apple hasn't done anything in five years to advance technology or interest, lawsuits or not.
Quit fooling yourself.
51. joey_sfb (Posts: 1852; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
I quit being a Apple fanboy because of its anti consumer lawsuits. What make you think i will support Samsung lawsuit. I have a Samsung galaxy tab and note 2.
86. mrochester (unregistered)
The iPad begs to differ (announced January 2012)!
8. rusticguy (Posts: 2810; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
And most funny part is Apple didn't want to agree to Court decided fees as Apple thinks they are above law. Not surprising PA misses to quote such things also in same breath :)
52. stealthd (Posts: 817; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
Apple hasn't refused to pay any fees decided by the court, just ones decided by Samsung which they feel aren't fair. How silly of PA to "miss" your fiction.
64. tedkord (Posts: 3774; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
Apple offered Samsung $0.005 per device for all of Samsung's patents, which were on actual tech. At the same time Apple demanded over $20 per device from Samsung for shapes, colors, stolen ideas like swipe to unlock, and at least to patents which have since been invalidated by the USPTO for being copied.
In the case against Motorola, Apple told the judge that they would not follow her ruling if Motorola were awarded more than $1 per device for all the patents Apple are infringing and have used since the first iPhone without paying a single penny.
Now who is being unreasonable?
82. jroc74 (Posts: 3601; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
See...I forgot ALL about this.....hmmm.
Apple, shame on you...thats less than 2% which IIRC is about standard.
81. rusticguy (Posts: 2810; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Read this and you would know that PA didn't miss the fiction as it wasn;t fiction. Apple warned that they would not pay if it is more than $1 what Apple thought is right price to pay. While M$ has in principle agreed to pay what court decides. I am not a fanboy :)
83. jroc74 (Posts: 3601; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Thanks for posting this, fills in the blanks on the back story. Apple, oh Apple...the more things change....the more they stay the same.
9. MartyK (Posts: 665; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
Let me get this straight..
Apple refuse to pay a company to use it products ( FRAND or Non FRAND), Because Apple THINKS the price it too high ( but they keep on using the company product for free).
EU is suing the holder of the Patent ( FRAND or Non FRAND) because the Holder of the patent want Apple to pay them or stop using their stuff.
Now, tell me, instead of EU suing the Patent holder, why didn't they look at the asking price and be the mediator in this case?.
Where are all the wonderful EU lovers?, you guys say USA is terrible when it comes to this, what do you think about your precious EU?...lol
11. Cynipap999 (banned) (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)
That's why Her Majesty, The Queen, refused to join that dreaded union; HRH knew they would go 'belly-up'. Now, they want to use Samsung as a revenue stream; iSay, 'off with their Euro' heads'!!
12. MartyK (Posts: 665; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
" Samsung as a revenue stream". hahahah!!..right!!
31. smallworld (Posts: 369; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
UK (if you're speaking about it) is a member of EU.
80. sprockkets (Posts: 830; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
and to add to that to clarify, they are part of the EU but did not go with the whole euro currency.
14. diggie (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)
I might be misreading this but I think what the EU argument is is that Samsung is trying to enforce a sales ban and that what should happen is that Samsung should (and I believe they are) take them to court if they can't agree on fees but that no sales ban should be in effect before a court rules on the case. I don't think the issue is them trying to get money.
Now of course Apple has the money to fight a court battle but the procedures here set precedent. If company A has FRAND patents and company B wants to enter the market and use those but company A won't license on what they believe is a fair or reasonable price then the recourse is court. If company A is able to get a sales ban on company B's products before a court hears the case then it allows company A to abuse its power with regards to FRAND patents.
Should Samsung be fined 10% for this? Heck no, but they should get a slap on the wrist just show that this is not how this should be done and there is consequences.
56. MartyK (Posts: 665; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
But Company B can not decide to use Company A product and refuse to pay them; This is pure theft (taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent); FRAND or Non FRAND.
If Apple feels Samsung is not being fair, then take them to court BEFORE they use Samsung Products.
For any Country to over look this little (Stealing) thing they prosecute regular citizen for; well, let's say Apple brought EU, like they did Judge Koh & California.(IMHO)
60. mrochester (unregistered)
That would allow Samsung to beliberately hold up the entry of new products into the market, thus damaging the market and abusing their position (which would result in another fine).
17. someones4 (Posts: 608; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
Corruption and hypocrisy rears its ugly head
26. jroc74 (Posts: 3601; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Yea this sounds kinda wild. Samsung wants X amount of money, Apple says no....whats the next step? Keep going lower until Apple is happy?. And forget about what Samsung wants? Why dont the judge or somebody qualified just look at the price Samsung wants and say yes or no?
46. tedkord (Posts: 3774; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
How? That was the plan here in the US, and Apple stated that they world not honor the judge's decision if it was over $1 per device. Apple are not interested in either fair or reasonable. They want free.
55. jroc74 (Posts: 3601; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Thats a lil different then. lol So what is Samsung supposed to do, give in to Apple? The total amount is probably really high because Apple sold so many devices. Oh well...
If Apple did say that...they really are the definition of arrogant. But Apple can try to charge $15 - $20 for round corners and bouncy backness.
50. corporateJP (Posts: 1183; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
Common sense would dictate that, but government red-tape is bull****.
34. Whateverman (Posts: 3150; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Kinda seems like the better the technology, the less protection your allowed to have? Yeah, this sounds really stupid. Tell Samsung "No", come up with a price both parties can agree on, and just keep it moving. No need to fine them.
76. mrochester (unregistered)
It's not to do with whether the technology is "better", it's to do with whether the technology in question is part of an internationally ratified standard or not.
10. Cynipap999 (banned) (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)
Why should Samsung share its' innovations with a limited OS?!
Apple started this war, now Samsung will finish it.....
burn Apple, BURRRNN!!
19. nwright94 (unregistered)
You guys are getting bad. Like the one androidisboss saying 9/11 and sandy hook was iOS's fault. What is wrong with you guys?
25. Cynipap999 (banned) (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)
9/11: Several Terroristic Psycopaths
Sandy Hook: One Sociopath
Intellectual Property Wars: The iDevil
27. sithvenger (banned) (Posts: 371; Member since: 25 Aug 2012)
U continue to make absolutely no sense man.
53. stealthd (Posts: 817; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
Because by agreeing for their patents to be standard, they don't get to choose who does and who doesn't get to use the patent. That's the whole point of having standards, to not let one company dictate an industry.
13. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
This is seriously sad.
It needs to stop and I honestly hope it's just a warning slap on the hand for Samsung that will make all companies pull their sh!t together in the future.
What's the worst of it - it CERTAINLY would've never come to this had Apple didn't started it in the first place with far worse things like asking for a product bans because Samsung refused to pay ridiculous fees for utter insulting nonsense of rectangular shapes and icon colors.
15. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Who the f... cares anymore??? they should stop issuing patents altogether and let true freedom and innovation take place, all this patent cr@p is only hurting the end consumer...
22. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)
you think people going to invent things fire others to use free of charge. I don'tknow what universe you folks are living.
29. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
Sadly in the same one as you, but i am wishing for a universe where one could not licence a shape, a color or anything as generic as that. Granting patents for a new type of engine or something major like that yes, but a rectangle with rounded corners, a notification hub, a animation, that is just plain idiotic....
43. Zero0 (Posts: 557; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
1. Some of the patents in questions aren't inventions (i.e. most of Apple's patents)
2. The rest of them are standards-essential, and legally required to be licensed at a _fair rate_. (i.e. not whatever absurdly high rate Samsung wants to charge Apple, so that Apple refuses to pay and gets sued by Samsung.)
65. tedkord (Posts: 3774; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
Fair means the same the as everyone else. We don't know what rate Samsung offered. I find it much more likely that Apple wanted a special rate lower than anyone else. Sort of like with their book price fixing.
70. mrochester (unregistered)
Fair doesn't necessarilly mean the same rate as everyone else. It isn't just money that changes hands, it's access to technology that can form part of an agreement too. Otherwise, you have no idea what you're talking about since we aren't privvy to any of the agreements.
33. dan86 (Posts: 298; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)
I don't get whats so ingenious of apple in creating a slab with rounded edges? And rest is pitiful story we know about iDevice.
66. tedkord (Posts: 3774; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
It wasn't so revolutionary the year before when LG Prada was released.