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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:32 AM   #1
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European Commission Opens Investigation into Samsung's Patent Threats Against Apple




The patent dispute between Apple and Samsung has certainly been well-documented as it has expanded to encompass numerous lawsuits and other complaints filed by both sides in a number of different countries. The offensive portion of Samsung's case has centered on 3G-related patents that it owns, but Apple has argued that those patents are essential to basic device operation and must therefore be licensed under FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. Apple's lawyers have also argued that Samsung's proposed licensing terms for those patents have so far not been made in compliance with FRAND standards.




As first reported by FOSS Patents, a new legal filing by Apple in a U.S. case has revealed that the European Commission is indeed investigating Samsung over potential abuse of FRAND-related patents. From the filing:
Quote:
Samsung has launched an aggressive, worldwide campaign to enjoin Apple from allegedly practicing Samsung's patents. Samsung has sued Apple for infringement and injunctions in no fewer than eight countries outside the United States. Indeed, Samsung's litigation campaign and other conduct related to its Declared-Essential Patents is so egregious that the European Commission recently has opened an investigation to determine whether Samsung's behavior violates EU competition laws.
Reuters also reports that the European Commission has issued a statement acknowledging the investigation, noting that it has requested information from both Samsung and Apple as it enters the early stages of a potential antitrust inquiry.
Quote:
"The Commission has indeed sent requests for information to Apple and Samsung concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector. Such requests for information are standard procedure in antitrust investigations to allow the Commission to establish the relevant facts in a case. We have no other comments at this stage," the EU executive said in a statement.
Apple has won a number of injunctions against Samsung over claims that several Android-based tablets and smartphones infringe upon Apple's design patents. Samsung initially adopted a primarily defensive stance against Apple, but has recently gone on the offensive to assert its 3G patents in an attempt to strengthen its hand in the courts and any potential settlement talks. But with some observers and Apple having argued that Samsung's asserted patents are subject to FRAND terms and judges and regulatory authorities beginning to agree with or at least consider that position, Samsung's efforts may yet backfire on the company.

Article Link: European Commission Opens Investigation into Samsung's Patent Threats Against Apple
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:35 AM   #2
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Samsung appears to be violating Article 102 TFEU.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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This crap needs to end, there has to be some kind of resolution they both can agree to.

It's turned into "You hurt me, so I'll hurt you back".

*facepalm*
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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I hope Apple will get back in quadruple what it did to Samsung
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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I know this is gonna get downrated but Samsung are being jerks. They think they can just copy stuff and get away with it because they supply or used to supply Apple with their parts...

That is like me letting someone else copy my paintings because they sell me their paint...

Grow up Samsung you cannot win.. it is too logically against you.

Do something on your own for once Samsung. Such an immoral company.

Have fun downrating people who cannot see logically.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:58 AM   #6
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Well done, standard procedure from the EU commission when someone may be doing anti competitive practices.

Time will tell if it goes further or it is dismissed like a lot of them
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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Well done, standard procedure from the EU commission when someone may be doing anti competitive practices.

Time will tell if it goes further or it is dismissed like a lot of them
Finally I read something from you that isn't fuelling the the dishonest.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:03 AM   #8
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Samsung is swatting at the gnat that is bothering it ... maybe even entertaining itself on an otherwise boring day by doing so.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:05 AM   #9
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The best outcome, I fear, may be unlikely: Samsung stops the lazy, blatant copying and focuses instead on creating truly great, original, innovative touch-platform designs! Wouldn’t that be nice to see?

Apple is stifling innovation by not going after these copycats even harder!
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:05 AM   #10
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It appears to be backfiring on Samsung at the moment. I wonder how long before it backfires on apple?

This isn't anti competition. This is anti plagiarism.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:05 AM   #11
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Ouch!

Have you seen what the EU charges for breaking these rules? That can easily cost a company half a BILLION Euros to be found infringing competition rules. Look at Mircosoft refusing to stop bundling Windows with IE and therefore preventing competition on the browser market - and they didn't even charge for it or prevent other browsers to be installed... and that was not the only one. Other cartels payed even more than that.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post
The best outcome, I fear, may be unlikely: Samsung stops the lazy, blatant copying and focuses instead on creating truly great, original, innovative touch-platform designs! Wouldn’t that be nice to see?

Apple is stifling innovation by not going after these copycats even harder!
That would be like a second coming
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by starvingartist8 View Post
Finally I read something from you that isn't fuelling the the dishonest.
What's your definition of dishonest exactly?
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:08 AM   #14
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This should cool down Samsung's cases to near freezing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oletros View Post
Well done, standard procedure from the EU commission when someone may be doing anti competitive practices.

Time will tell if it goes further or it is dismissed like a lot of them
In reality, very few were dismissed.

EU was able to order Microsoft and other high profile companies to comply to its orders.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
What's your definition of dishonest exactly?
behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way

WHy is it whenever someone says something relevant someone else has to get all steamed up and pick apart their sentences while merging off topic? Just goes to show how the mentality of the tech world is these days and no wonder crap like Samsung can do what they are doing.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
What's your definition of dishonest exactly?
Dishonest means not agree with what he says

Quote:
Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
In reality, very few were dismissed.
Mmm, no, a lot of this procedures doesn't go further than the preliminary request for information. One of the last ones to be dismissed was the iTunes case
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:17 AM   #17
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One more thing...

If you read through your EULA in iDevices, you will stumble over things like Amazon's TM / patent of purchasing with clicking only one button. This is how you enforce your patents the right way. It is substantial to nowadays' business and you get money for other companies using it.

Just think about the 3G part for a second: 3G technology is a standard phone producers want to be adopted by the service provider companies and therefore has to be accessible to all competitors or you automatically create a cartel. Creating such a cartel per se is prohibited on markets crucial to society or economy (some exceptions apply).
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:24 AM   #18
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I envision this as a Pokemon battle:

A wild Samsung appears!

Dununununununu <cue epic battle music>
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starvingartist8 View Post
behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way

WHy is it whenever someone says something relevant someone else has to get all steamed up and pick apart their sentences while merging off topic? Just goes to show how the mentality of the tech world is these days and no wonder crap like Samsung can do what they are doing.
If I were to say that Apple copies everybody and takes credit for the innovations of others, you'd pick it apart, right? You'd probably feel the need to go out and correct that person's erroneous statement.

But, you see, it also works the other way. When someone says that everyone is copying Apple, that's not totally true, either. Like you see alot of people around here claiming that Android copped iOS completely, which isn't at all true. Just like you, they'd feel that need to go out and correct that person's erroneous statement.

Just because someone doesn't agree with Apple 100% doesn't make the Apple Haters, or Fandroids, or whatever. Remember that.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starvingartist8 View Post
I know this is gonna get downrated but Samsung are being jerks. They think they can just copy stuff and get away with it because they supply or used to supply Apple with their parts...

That is like me letting someone else copy my paintings because they sell me their paint...

Grow up Samsung you cannot win.. it is too logically against you.

Do something on your own for once Samsung. Such an immoral company.

Have fun downrating people who cannot see logically.
Well said, btw I up rate every anti-Samsung post I see!
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coder12 View Post
I envision this as a Pokemon battle:

A wild Samsung appears!

Dununununununu <cue epic battle music>
And then, Michelin Man appears with a blue ribbon having 12 golden stars on it.

"Me like pretty like little Fluffeluff!" reaching out and eating it.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ori View Post
It appears to be backfiring on Samsung at the moment. I wonder how long before it backfires on apple?

This isn't anti competition. This is anti plagiarism.
No, it started as anti-plagiarism (actually trade dress violations but close enough). Then Samsung turned it into an anti-competitive argument, by trying to sue Apple for violations of FRAND technology.

To me this is just a huge sign of how weak Samsung's case really is. Within an hour of these 3G cases becoming public knowledge many people in the know where expressing confusion as to how Samsung was planning to use FRAND patents in this way without getting into trouble. Therefore, either Samsung's lawyers are idiots or this was just an absolutely desperate grab at anything that Samsung could use to try and get out of Apple's case concerning their trade dress violations (which according to Apple's filing seem to be numerous and pretty blatant).

Too many people seem to want to turn this into an Apple versus Android fight, but in reality it didn't start that way. Samsung made changes to Android to make their version look way too similar to iOS and that doesn't even start to address the packaging and industrial design itself. Other companies have somehow managed to use Android without making it look like iOS, so it was a decision that Samsung made that had nothing to do with using Android.

As for the physical appearance, that is likely the weakest argument of Apple concerning trade dress. After all it is a radius cornered rectangle with a black bezel, but simply take a look at the new Motorola Xoom to see that it is actually possible to make a tablet that doesn't physically mimic the iPad. Honestly, I like the look of the new Xoom with its chamfered corners. Good work Motorola on some actual design innovation.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
Samsung appears to be violating Article 102 TFEU.
I'm not a lawyer, and I especially don't know EU law... thank you for pointing this out (so I could Google it!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by usptact View Post
I hope Apple will get back in quadruple what it did to Samsung
If the quoted statement above is indeed found to be true, why? It's a company. Why are people so personally embroiled in this as if Samsung or Apple are their family members? I mean your statement almost sounds a bit juvenile. You do know the point of IP, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad-B-One View Post
That can easily cost a company half a BILLION Euros to be found infringing competition rules. Look at Mircosoft refusing to stop bundling Windows with IE and therefore preventing competition on the browser market - and they didn't even charge for it or prevent other browsers to be installed... and that was not the only one. Other cartels payed even more than that.
Yep. This is upping the ante a bit. In the end it's just a game of cards though; those who hold the most cards gets advantage over the settlement table. Make no mistake that this is where all of this mess is heading.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:36 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ori View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

It appears to be backfiring on Samsung at the moment. I wonder how long before it backfires on apple?

This isn't anti competition. This is anti plagiarism.
Nope. Not really. This patent law suit is about if Apple can buy chips from
BroadCom who pays licensing fees to use the 3G technology and therefore Apple does not have to pay or if Apple still infringes if they use these chips. Basically, is Samsung hindering competition by trying to rip off the competition because it would cash in twice... and also not offering a reasonable price for other companies to pay to use the technology. Problem would be if Samsung wins, does BroadCom get their money back since now Apple is licensing? Because that would mean the production of the chips gets cheaper and Apple would just shift the pay from BroadCom to Samsung. In the end, current practice of Samsung looks like trying to block FRAND patents and or trying to double-dip.
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Old Nov 4, 2011, 09:40 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mad-B-One View Post
Nope. Not really. This patent law suit is about if Apple can buy chips from
BroadCom who pays licensing fees to use the 3G technology and therefore Apple does not have to pay or if Apple still infringes if they use these chips. Basically, is Samsung hindering competition by trying to rip off the competition because it would cash in twice... and also not offering a reasonable price for other companies to pay to use the technology. Problem would be if Samsung wins, does BroadCom get their money back since now Apple is licensing? Because that would mean the production of the chips gets cheaper and Apple would just shift the pay from BroadCom to Samsung. In the end, current practice of Samsung looks like trying to block FRAND patents and or trying to double-dip.
It's not so easy, chipset makers AND phone makers pays licensing fees for radio patents to the 3G pool. Do you remember that in the Apple-Nokia case was also said that why Apple has to pay when the chipset maker was paying?
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