It’s been fairly quiet on the patent war front of late, but we have a fairly interesting story here. Y’know, in the grand scheme of things.
Essentially, Samsung is hoping to appease EU regulators and avoid a hefty fine by promising not to seek any further injunctions based on its standard essential patents (SEPs) for a period of five years.
The European Commission has formally raised concerns that Samsung’s seeking of injunctions against Apple “may have amounted to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules”.
Typically, SEPs should be licensed to competitors under FRAND (Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) terms, and as such we shouldn’t have injunction requests against companies who are willing to enter license agreements.
Joaquín Almunia, Commission VP in charge of competition policy, croons: “Enforcing patents through injunctions can be perfectly legitimate. However, when patents are standard-essential, abuses must be prevented so that standard-setting works properly and consumers do not have to suffer negative consequences from the so-called patent wars.
“If we reach a good solution in this case, it will bring clarity to the industry”.
The Commission has called for comments from Samsung's competitors while it considers the proposal.
If an agreement is reached and subsequently violated by Samsung, the Commission can impose a fine of up to 10% of the company’s global annual turnover. Eep.