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EU to Charge Samsung With Antitrust Over Patent Abuse Against Apple

EU to Charge Samsung With Antitrust Over Patent Abuse Against Apple

Samsung’s practice of filing excessive injunction claims against Apple for violating patents essential to the function of wireless devices has been called into question a number of times by a number of individuals and organizations. Acording to a new report from Reuters, the European Union is planning to do something about it, by formally charging Samsung with antitrust for its patent abuse against the Cupertino company.

Reuters:

EU regulators are poised to accuse Samsung of breaking competition rules in filing patent lawsuits against rival Apple, in the EU’s first formal challenge to the consumer electronic industry’s patent wars.

“We will issue a statement of objections very soon,” the European Union’s competition chief Joaquin Almunia said on Thursday, referring to the Commission’s charge sheet.

The filing of competition objections is the latest step in the Commission’s investigation. After notifying Samsung in writing the company will have a chance to reply and request a hearing before regulators. […] If the Commission then concludes that the firm did violate the rules, it could impose a fine of up to 10 percent of the electronic firm’s total annual turnover.

The European Commission has been investigating Samsung for the patent abuse since January. The decision to continue pursuing charges against Samsung comes just days after Samsung recently withdrew a number of injunction requests against Apple in Europe. Apparently their sly last-minute maneuver isn’t enough to avoid EU attention.

Bloomberg provides additional comments from EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia

“We are dissatisfied every time that we see the launching of injunctions involving standard-essential patents,” Almunia told reporters at a press conference in Brussels. “The injunctions in the Apple-Samsung case were launched; it was not only a threat.”

The statement of objections will serve as a formal notice to Samsung of the charges being raised against it, and allows Samsung an opportunity to contest those claims or request a hearing before further action is taken. Hopefully Samsung will learn their lesson: It doesn’t pay to rip of other companies’ ideas – and it especially doesn’t pay to seek petty revenge against those companies by filing illegal lawsuits…

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