Since our publication of yesterday on Samsung’s dropped lawsuits against Apple in Europe, we have received numerous mails querying the rationale behind such a move. Our attentions were forcibly drawn to developments that occurred yesterday which tend to suggest that Samsung might after all not be so magnanimous. Their action could actually be a pre-emptive move to forestall heavy fines should they lose the lawsuits.
The European Commission, the competition governing body of the European Union is accusing Samsung of “an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules” The commission chief, Joaquin Almunia said and we quote:
Intellectual-property rights are an important cornerstone of the single market. However, such rights should not be misused when they are essential to implement industry standards, which bring huge benefits to businesses and consumers alike. When companies have contributed their patents to an industry standard and have made a commitment to license the patents in return for fair remuneration, than the use of injunctions against willing licensees can be anticompetitive.
The commission has filed a statement of objection to Samsung’s lawsuits against Apple. They believe that these patents are standard essential patents (SEPs) and offered on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory basis (FRAND). Yesterday, the commission said:
“Where a commitment to license SEPs on FRAND terms has been given by Samsung, and where a potential licensee, in this case Apple, has shown itself to be willing to negotiate a FRAND licence for the SEPs, then recourse to injunctions harms competition.”
We mentioned in our post yesterday that Samsung has dropped all their 26 lawsuits in Germany, UK, Netherlands, Italy and France.
With yesterday’s development, could one easily and safely infer that Samsung made a wise move during the week by dropping these lawsuits?
What do you say on this new development?
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