EU launches antitrust investigation of Samsung patent licensing

The Commission will investigate whether Samsung has distorted competition by the way it licenses patents essential to 3G mobile phones

The European Commission is investigating the way Samsung Electronics licenses its patents on technology essential to mobile communications networks, concerned that it may be in breach of European competition law.

The Commission, Europe's highest antitrust authority, announced Tuesday that it has begun a formal investigation of Samsung's patent licensing practices.

The patents at issue relate to 3G mobile systems. Like other vendors working with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to develop the standards for 3G networks, Samsung gave a commitment in 1998 to license those of its patents considered essential to the standards on so-called fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

Such undertakings guarantee that one vendor cannot use patents to prevent its competitors from selling standards-compliant products.

But in 2011, Samsung filed suit in a number of European courts, asserting that some of its competitors' products infringed on patents it considered essential for mobile communications devices, and seeking injunctions preventing distribution of the products in Europe. Apple was among Samsung's targets.

The Commission now plans to examine whether those lawsuits conflict with Samsung's earlier undertaking to license such patents on FRAND terms, and whether it has distorted competition in the market for mobile communications devices.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?