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Samsung in talks to settle EU antitrust case over Apple patent abuse

Wants to avoid a fine
Tue Jun 25 2013, 17:01
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KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung reportedly is in talks with the EU Commission to end a European antitrust case, after Apple complained that the firm was abusing its 3G patents.

Samsung has been accused of abusing standards essential patents in its ongoing litigation against Apple, with the European Commission telling the firm in December 2012 that it was unfairly seeking injunctions against Apple's iPhone over its use of certain 3G patents.

Apple complained too, and said that Samsung did not meet requirements as a standards essential patent holder.

At the time, Samsung dropped its related lawsuits against Apple saying "it was in the interest of protecting consumer choice", although it's more likely that the company bowed to pressure from the commission.

Citing sources famililar with the negotiations, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Samsung is edging closer to reaching a settlement with EU regulators.

"Samsung has been involved in settlement discussions for several months now," the sources claimed, and "wants to settle" with the EU.

Although it's still unclear whether Samsung will settle the case, with the sources saying that "it's still too early to say", the Korean firm could avoid as much as $17.3bn in fines if it does. However, a settlement would also likely mean that the firm would have to agree to licence its standards essential patents to Apple, which could have an significant impact on its lawsuits against Apple.

This is just the latest twist in Samsung's ongoing patent battles with Apple, which span across 10 different countries. Most recently, a Tokyo court ruled that Samsung infringed Apple's "bounce back" patent.

Samsung was not immediately available for comment. µ


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