Samsung has dropped its request for an injunction against Apple in Germany, the UK, France, Italy and The Netherlands over standards-essential patent infringement. Is this a sign of détente or Samsung seeing that it backed itself into a legal corner?
The Verge received this statement from Samsung:
“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. 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.”
Yeah, more than a little irony there, methinks. The issue is that in Europe (and elsewhere) standards-essential patents are to be licensed by the patent holders using FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) guidelines. The intent is that if you invented something the everyone needs to make other things work (in this case wireless technologies) you can’t hold everyone over a barrel at the cost of competition. You are allowed to make money (via licensing), but you have to be fair about it. Samsung is facing questions in both Europe and Korea over how it licenses standards-essential patents, so this legal move in Europe might be just a maneuver to avoid getting slapped by the courts.
Via: The Verge
Scales of Justice by mikecogh from Flickr.