Feeds

A $17.3bn fine, you say? Samsung begs for five-year patent war truce

Chaebol furiously waves white flag as EU watchdog mulls peace treaty

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The European Commission has asked for comments on a proposed deal with Samsung that would see the South Koreans pledging not to take patent lawsuits to court for five years in exchange for avoiding a massive fine.

Europe's antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in September that he had received Samsung's plan to escape a $17.3bn penalty for trying to get competitors' products banned with patent lawsuits over standard essential patents (SEPs).

These SEPs cover core technologies that must be shared on reasonable terms. The EU took action after Samsung sued Apple in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, seeking a legal blockade on Cupertino's mobiles and fondleslabs.

Samsung has now offered a five-year moratorium on such lawsuits and instead will enter a 12-month negotiating period when companies seek to license from its SEP portfolio. If those negotiations fail, an independent arbitrator will set the terms - unless both parties prefer to go to court to fight it out.

If the EU accepts Samsung's offer it will enforce the deal under Article 9 of European antitrust regulations, and if the firm breaks the rules again it will be fined up to 10 per cent of its global turnover – which adds up to $17.86bn based on its latest figures. Crucially however, an Article 9 infringement doesn't represent an admission of guilt by the company, thus saving the South Korean firm face.

The EU stressed that this ruling applies only to Samsung and other companies are free to seek injunctions against competitors with SEP court cases. "The Commission attaches high importance to effective patent protection and an efficient patent system," it said in the formal proposal released on Thursday.

"Enforcing patents through injunctions can be perfectly legitimate. However, when patents are standard-essential, abuses must be prevented so that standard-setting works properly and consumers do not have to suffer negative consequences from the so-called patent wars. If we reach a good solution in this case, it will bring clarity to the industry," said Almunia in a statement.

He has now formally opened the recommendations up for comment from "interested parties" for the next month, with comments from competitors specially requested. You can be sure Apple, Google, and many others in the mobile industry have already got their thinking caps on. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.