Samsung Reprimanded Over Use of Standards-Essential Patents for Import Ban

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Samsung has been reprimanded by the U.S. Justice Department for using its standards-essential or FRAND patents to seek an import ban against some older Apple products into the United States. The DoJ investigated the case after concerns were raised about companies unfairly wielding their standards-essential patents to hamper competition.

    As part of their extensive legal back-and-forth over patents, Samsung and Apple went before the U.S. International Trade Commission which ordered an import ban on several older Apple products saying they had violated a particular standards-essential Samsung patent. Apple argued that Samsung was asking an unfair licensing fee, but the ITC ruled that the Samsung's claims could proceed nonetheless.

    The Obama administration ended up vetoing the import ban, the first time since 1987 that the President of the United States had interfered with an ITC decision. A number of companies had lined up support for Apple, asking the President to veto the ban because the patent in question was deemed essential for 3G wireless functionality and Samsung was asking for inappropriately large licensing fees in violation of patent rules.

    The DoJ said that it would not take action against Samsung because of the Presidential veto, but warned the firm against taking similar actions in the future:
    FRAND patents are supposed to allow companies to cross-license so-called "essential" patents at reasonable rates to avoid having companies with one necessary patent from extorting an entire industry with extreme licensing requirements.

    Article Link: Samsung Reprimanded Over Use of Standards-Essential Patents for Import Ban
  2. OTACORB macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
    Somehow these Samsung cats always seem to escape from any real consequences for their actions.
  3. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
  4. UnfetteredMind macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2012
    I'm sure Samsung has learned their lesson and won't do it again. :rolleyes:
  5. jreuschl macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2008
    How is this different than Apple wanting to ban Samsung products?
  6. forcenine macrumors newbie


    May 23, 2008
    Because you're confusing standards-essential patents with non-standards-essential patents. Hence FRAND. Best do some research...
  7. isepic macrumors member

    May 10, 2008
    Research: standards-essential or FRAND patents, and see if Apple's request to ban was based on it. Short answer, no, it wasn't, it was blatant rip off which warranted it. Samsung had nothing, so they resort to these illegal methods, and got caught.
  8. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    Well I hate Samsung a lot so it would make me happy:D But if Samsung triesto do some thing like that to apple it would make me very very sad cuz I love apple:( That's how its different
  9. Klae17 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2011
    Read the damn article.
  10. T-R-S macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2010
    My favourite Samsung patent claim "Wireless video transmission & reception to and from a portable device."

    I was thinking I might be able to patent "breathing air by a human" as well. :p
  11. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Dec 15, 2013
    New York
    Isn't that patent violated by texting?
  12. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Jesus, just how many times do they have to be "reprimanded" over this? How about some fines?
  13. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Screw all these idiotic patent wars. More competition is good in this industry. We don't want one player to own it all.
  14. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Except when it comes to Google, then people seem perfectly fine with one player owning it all.
  15. dBeats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2011
  16. Solomani macrumors 68030


    Sep 25, 2012
    At the very least, they should be fined for wasting the US Court's time. Samsung should pay all the salaried time (pro-rated) of all the judges, legal clerks, legal counsels, and Court attorneys involved. I know it's just pocket change for Samsung, but still…..
  17. giantfan1224 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2012
    If you know what SEP and FRAND are, then you already know the answer. If you don't, that's what Google is for. You're welcome.
  18. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Take it up with the Founding Fathers.

    Patents go back to Colonial America, and were enshrined in the US Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8.
  19. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Try 15th century Venice, and the Venetian Patent Statute from 1474.
  20. MikeyMike01 macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2010
    Competition is good. See: Google Now

    Copying is bad. See: S Voice
  21. clibinarius macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2010
    If Samsung can't make too much money on this stuff, it stymies real innovation. "Bounce back" v. 3G; I think Bounce back is worth more and should command more money.

    Seriously...what's more important? A FRAND patent or one of the things Apple's suing over? One makes a phone work. One gives a visual effect. Innovation, in my opinion, should mean more standards. Anything Apple develops that should be a standard? They refuse to open and license.

    iOS? Apple only. Facetime? Apple only. iMessage? Apple only. And the beat goes on...
  22. kdarling, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014

    kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Cabin by a lake
    The coverage and debate on this topic is often too simplistic.

    For one thing, Samsung did nothing illegal requesting the ITC import ban over FRAND patents, otherwise the request would not even have been accepted. It has been a standard legal move for decades. It's only in the past year that the DOJ began to push for not allowing them.

    The main article also left out a critical beginning phrase from the DOJ statement:

    "While there are certain circumstances where an exclusion order as a remedy for infringement of such patents could be appropriate, in many cases there is a risk ..."

    What are the "certain circumstances"? Well, when the US Trade Representative overruled the ITC ban, he noted that a failure to negotiate was a valid reason for an import ban request:


    And in fact, a lack of Apple good faith negotiation is what the ITC used as its main basis for the import ban:


    Thus the ITC import ban decision was actually in line with the DOJ's public stance. So why overturn their ruling? Was it a legal turf war between the DOJ and ITC? A Presidential fear of iPhone buyer backlash? That's for history to decide.

    One good outcome of all this, is that the DOJ has come up with clearer guidelines for the future. In particular, these rules spell out time limits. If a potential licensee fails to negotiate within a certain time period, the patent holder can then ask for arbitrated rates. If the licensee still fails to pay those, then an injunction is allowed.

    If used, such time limits and forced arbitration will hopefully prevent long, drawn out court battles, and be fairer to all parties.
  23. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000


    Mar 15, 2009
    All Samsung products should be banned from the US. They are a disease.
  24. mcfmullen macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Why do journalists use FRAND when the DOJ says F/RAND?
  25. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The obvious question is whether a phone can work needs to use a patent, especially if there are standards that require you use it, or if the patent is just for something that is not required for a phone. A phone will work just fine if you don't use the "bounce back" patent. Because of that, the patent holder can demand any amount they want for its use or even not allow its use at all. It doesn't stop others from making and selling phones. Not allowing the use of FRAND patents would make it impossible to build or sell a phone.

    That's why Samsung was threatened with a fine up to $13 billion in the EU for suing to prevent the use of FRAND patents.

    Consider this: If two different companies hold two different patents, each absolutely required to make a phone work, and both refuse to license, then _nobody_ could build phones (if these two companies acted legally, which they wouldn't).

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