In a legal document that was filed earlier this week, Apple has stated that the United States Department of Justice is starting to investigate Samsung Electronics on whether they have misused some of the company’s mobile device patents that violate the antitrust law. This all goes back to Apple accusing Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics of using some of their patents improperly to block any sort of sales of their competitor’s products. I am not a patent expert by any means, but upon further research, it does seem like — as Talk Android mention — that this has to deal with FRAND. FRAND means “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory.” There are specific patents that fall into the FRAND category, and that means that the owners of said patents must give a reasonable licensing deal to other companies. This usually has to deal with patents that are standard (you can take networking patents for an example).
It appears that this investigation has been going on for quite a few months now, and the European Commission announced that they had been under a very similar investigation back in January of 2012. Since most networking patents are subject to FRAND law, it is highly possible that Samsung’s LTE patents will be falling into this category as well. Which could prove to be rather difficult for Samsung as they were trying to sue the iPhone 5 over said LTE patents. If you recall, Samsung was able to win a victory just a couple of weeks ago as the court invalidated Apple’s bounce-back patent. It seems like — if the investigation proves to be fruitful — that Samsung will be taking a blow.
Hopefully things will turn out in Samsung’s favor as misusing the system could potentially have some bad repercussions. Who knows how long the investigation will take, the European Commission took a while to finish the investigation, and I assume the United States would take just as long. Things aren’t looking very good for Samsung as of late. After being found by the ITC to violate four different patents, things are definitely not looking good for them. Hopefully a slew of more devices won’t be getting banned from the market.
What I find interesting is that Samsung has been found guilty of a lot of different patents in the United States, but other countries have just deemed Apple as being over-powering. As an example, the ITC found Samsung to violate four different patents in the U.S (which was stated above), but in the Netherlands they were found to be not guilty. It just seems odd to me and really makes me think that a lot of people are biased towards Apple and aren’t looking at things on a neutral point of view. There are, arguably, some things that Samsung has probably violated, but the same also goes for Apple. It all just seems rather interesting to me.
What do you think? Has Samsung violated some of the antitrust laws in the United States? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
source: talk android