John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

ITC Investigates Samsung Over Standards-Essential Patents

clouseau_380x2852013 is going to be a busy year for Samsung legal. The list of investigations and litigation facing the company — pending and in progress — is a long one, and growing longer by the day.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said Thursday that it has agreed to investigate Samsung for possible trade violations, following a complaint by Ericsson. The network-equipment manufacturer alleges that Samsung has infringed a number of its mobile technology patents by continuing to sell a number of smartphones, tablets and TVs without a proper patent-licensing agreement. And it wants the ITC to ban their importation.

Further complicating matters: A similar complaint brought by Samsung against Ericsson late last year. In it, Samsung argued that some of Ericsson’s telecommunications network equipment violate a handful of Samsung patents.

It’s worth noting that most of the patents at issue in this spat are standards-essential ones, which their holders are obligated to license under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Both Ericsson and Samsung allege one another have refused to do so. And those allegations come at a time of increased regulatory scrutiny of standards-essential patents. Indeed, in its recent consent decree with Google, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission told Google that it cannot seek to ban competing products using patents it licensed under a FRAND agreement.


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December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

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December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

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December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

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December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik