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    European Commission Market-Tests Samsung Antitrust Commitments

    Published on 18 October 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch

    The European Commission wants feedback from interested parties on a proposal by Samsung Electronics to resolve an antitrust investigation. The case relates to Samsung’s efforts to enforce standard essential patents (SEPs) it owns for mobile communications technology. SEPs are patents that protect technologies essential for the implementation of an industry standard developed by a standard-setting organisation.

    The antitrust probe, begun in January 2012, arose from EC concerns that Samsung’s attempt to seek injunctions against Apple based on Samsung’s 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System SEPs in several EU member states might breach the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which prohibits abuse of a dominant market position.

    Samsung owns SEPs related to mobile telecom standards and has committed to licensing them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Apple was willing to sign a licensing agreement on FRAND terms for Samsung’s SEPs, but the latter launched court proceedings instead.

    To settle the case, Samsung offered several concessions, the EC said. In particular, it proposed not to seek any injunctions for five years, based on any of its current and future SEPs that relate to technologies used in smartphones and tablets, against any company that agrees to a particular licensing arrangement.

    All documents in the case, including Samsung’s commitments, are here. Comments are due within one month from publication in the EU Official Journal.

    [Update:] Apple declined to comment on the EC statement, but pointed to a FOSS Patents blog posting in which intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller said there is “significant risk” that the ultimate outcome of the EU antitrust probe against Samsung “could be thoroughly disappointing.” The EC should have rejected Samsung’s offer outright, he said. That is because, among other problems, the five-year period is too short and the requirement that if parties can’t agree on either submitting disputes to court or arbitration they will have to use arbitration is “irreconcilable with the rule of law.”

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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