In Europe, Samsung could be facing a $15 billion fine for attempting to use “standard-essential” patents to try and ban Apple products such as the iPhone in its latest patent dispute with the Cupertino firm. According to The Guardian, there is a possibility the European commission will impose a fine that amounts to 10% of Samsung’s global turnover. This follows the commission’s investigation of Samsung’s use of the said patents to try and ban the sale of Apple devices in Europe. In 2011, Samsung’s total revenue amounted to $148.9 billion. This means that the European commission could fine the Korean tech giant around $14.8 billion.
The Guardian explains, “Apple has been seeking bans based on what it claims are infringements of specific patents that are not part of any standard, such as the “pinch and zoom” feature on touch screen phones, as well as design patents on the appearance of its products.
“Samsung, by contrast, has frequently tried to use its SEPs, which differ from the patents asserted by Apple in that they are only included in a standard such as 3G if the owner makes a formal commitment to license them to allcomers on a “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” basis. If the licenser and licencee cannot agree on pricing, it is set by a court. The commission noted that Apple had offered to make a payment, but that the two sides differed on the sums involved.”
Apple attempted to license the patents in questions, but failed to come to an agreement with Samsung.
The Korean firm withdrew its attempt of an iPhone and iPad sales ban in Europe. In a statement, Samsung said, “Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court. In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice.”
What do you make of this latest development between the patent disputes between Samsung and Apple? Share your thoughts through a comment on our Facebook page.