Samsung Trying to Settle European Patent-Abuse Charges

Published on June 25, 2013
by John Paczkowski

lets-make-a-deal-featureSamsung is in preliminary talks with the European Commission about settling accusations that it misused standard-essential patents to bolster its market position.

Sources tell Reuters that the EC — which last December formally accused Samsung of failing to honor its obligation to license its standard-essential patents to rival device makers like Apple under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms — has been in discussion with the company for months now. Samsung’s goal: To settle the case before the EC issues a finding of wrongdoing. Said one source, “Samsung wants to settle.”

Hardly a surprise. If Samsung doesn’t reach a settlement and is found to have asserted patents that have been included in industry standards against willing licensees in breach of EU law, it could end up facing fines as high as $17.3 billion. Obviously, it’s in the company’s best interests to hammer out an agreement, though at this point it’s unclear if it will be able to manage that.

Samsung declined to comment on the report. The European Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

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