Samsung could be fined billions for trying to ban Apple products in Europe

Samsung could be fined billions for trying to ban Apple products in Europe
Samsung is facing a potential fine of 10% of its revenue, or billions of British Pounds, for failing to license its standards-essential patents to Apple using fair and reasonable terms. When Apple refused to pay what it considered to be an unfair licensing fee, Samsung sought a sales ban on the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad in Europe,a request that has been rejected by the EC. The potential fine could be as high as 9.3 billion GBP or $15 billion USD based on Sammy's 2011 revenue of $148.9 billion. The EC Competition arm made a formal statement on Friday, objecting to Samsung's actions.

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 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.

source: Guardian



1. AnTuTu

Posts: 1612; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

a big 'LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL' to that...!!!

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's what happens when you try to put a price on fair and reasonable.

28. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

You have been waiting to say that line for months... Whats a fair price to you?

36. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You can't put a price on something that's a standard in many devices.

40. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

What part of ..."the F in FRAND doesnt mean FREE" dont you understand... No matter how much you want it to .....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: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 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.

2. StringCheese01

Posts: 64; Member since: Jan 27, 2012

They both need to cut the sh*t.

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: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

What? 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.

3. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Europe FTW.

4. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Does not matter. The fandroids will find a way to defend SamSUEng.

6. serious9010

Posts: 254; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

I guess Sam's Sung quite enough. Now it's time for karma to sing.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

and you Apple fanboys don't?

23. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

We don't support any form of lawsuits. Lawsuits does nothing to advance our technology and interests.

49. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Apple hasn't done anything in five years to advance technology or interest, lawsuits or not. Quit fooling yourself.

51. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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 unregistered

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: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 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: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

See...I forgot ALL about this.....hmmm. Apple, shame on you...thats less than 2% which IIRC is about standard.

81. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 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?

11. Cynipap999

Posts: 138; Member since: Nov 15, 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: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

" Samsung as a revenue stream". hahahah!!..right!!

31. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

UK (if you're speaking about it) is a member of EU.

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