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#1 (Spork)

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:26

http://bgr.com/2012/...-europe-271856/


Samsung (005930) could face a $15 billion fine in Europe alone for using “standard-essential” patents in its attempts to ban devices like the iPhone in its ongoing patent battle with Apple (AAPL). The Guardian reports that the European commission could impose a massive fine of up to 10% of Samsung’s global turnover following its investigation into Samsung’s use of standard-essential patents in complaints filed against Apple in Europe. Samsung’s revenue totaled $148.9 billion in 2011, so fines in Europe alone could reach $14.8 billion.

The commission’s investigation began in January and took an interesting turn late last week. Among other issues, it is troubled by Samsung’s use of patents that had previously been deemed “standard-essential.” This means the IP owner — Samsung, in this case — has made a formal commitment to license these technologies to all parties that wish to utilize them for a ”fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” fee. If fees cannot be agreed upon by the parties involved, The Guardian explains, a price must be set by a court.

Apple had offered to license the relevant patents in the past, the commission noted, but it was unable to strike an agreement with Samsung.

Samsung withdrew its motion asking to ban sales of the iPhone and iPad across Europe last week, just days before the European commission made its objections to Samsung’s use of standard-essential patents public.

“Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court,” Samsung said in a statement at the time. “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


#2 siah1214

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:34

The EU found another piggy bank.

#3 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:46

The EU found another piggy bank.


I really wish you idiots would stop spouting this crap.

I think it's great that the EU is actually doing something to stop this nonsense. If a 10% fine is what it takes, then so be it. Trying to ban a product from sale using standards-essential patents is (a) anti-competitive and (b) bad for consumers.

#4 thealexweb

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:46

Why are fines calculated by revenue and not profit? Makes low margin firms like PC OEMs big targets.

#5 Conjor

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:47

I really wish you idiots would stop spouting this crap.

I think it's great that the EU is actually doing something to stop this nonsense. If a 10% fine is what it takes, then so be it. Trying to ban a product from sale using standards-essential patents is (a) anti-competitive and (b) bad for consumers.

It's funny... Apple does the same things *COUGH* rounded corners *COUGH*.

#6 tsupersonic

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:49

I really wish you idiots would stop spouting this crap.

I think it's great that the EU is actually doing something to stop this nonsense. If a 10% fine is what it takes, then so be it. Trying to ban a product from sale using standards-essential patents is (a) anti-competitive and (b) bad for consumers.

So...it's not a problem when Apple does it, but it is a problem when Samsung does? I think both companies should be fined heavily, maybe not 10%, but a big amount.

#7 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:52

So...it's not a problem when Apple does it, but it is a problem when Samsung does? I think both companies should be fined heavily, maybe not 10%, but a big amount.


I agree, but Apple wasn't withholding standard-essential patents like Samsung is accused of doing. It's a technicality, but that's the reason.

#8 +Brando212

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:56

I agree, but Apple wasn't withholding standard-essential patents like Samsung is accused of doing. It's a technicality, but that's the reason.

technicalities, in normal world speak that would be called "making excuses"

#9 TPreston

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 19:08

I wish they would focus on forcing Apple & Microsoft (in RT) to stop their anti competitive policy's in their marketplaces.

#10 BoredBozirini

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 19:31

Great news.

#11 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 21:44

technicalities, in normal world speak that would be called "making excuses"


Sure, it is making excuses, except for the part where I agree with you. I think Apple should be held accountable for anti-competitive practices of filing obvious and vague patents and litigating to maintain an unfair advantage rather than competing based on the advantages of the product. At the same time however, all these things are perfectly within the law. If anyone is primarily to blame, it's the patent offices for approving these patents.

It's not like the EU are in bed with Apple. The EU has pressured Apple into clarifying that they offer a free 2 year warranty inside the EU, and the UK have forced them to publicly apologise to Samsung for bringing a smear campaign against them. They never get fined though because they comply with EU orders.

What Samsung are accused to have done wrong is use standards essential patents to try and force Apple out of the market. Standards essential patents are required to be available under Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms. If they're found not to have done this, they're deservedly in a world of hurt. Apple (nor anyone else) are required to do this for non standard essential patents. Like I said, it's a technicality (personally I think it should be a requirement that any patented technology should be available under FRAND terms), but they're within the confines of the law.

#12 Growled

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:51

Whether they fine them or not is their business, but I object to the size of the fine. It seems excessive to me.

#13 The_Decryptor

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:43

Not really surprised about this, they're being investigated in the US for the same reason. Microsoft claimed Motorola was doing the same thing too.

#14 Praetor

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:31

The bigger problem in this is that tech patents, in its the current form, are wrong. And all of this enterprises are using them to knock out competition, leaving us, consumers, in a crippled environment.
That fine is excessive but if only could end this pathetic patent war...but it won't.

#15 Shaun N.

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:31

And where is the fine for Apple for trying to get Samsung products banned?