Samsung withdraws request for Apple ban in Europe

Samsung withdraws request for Apple ban in Europe

Summary: Samsung has dropped its bid to have Apple products that relate to its ongoing court cases against the company withdrawn from sale in Europe.

TOPICS: Legal, Apple, Patents, Samsung, EU

Samsung has withdrawn all requests in Europe for a ban on the sale of Apple products that the South Korean company says infringe on standard-essential patents.

However, while Samsung has shelved its request for a ban, the company confirmed on Tuesday that it will be continuing with the case against Apple's use of standard-essential patents.

"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," Samsung said in a statement. "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."

In the course of the past year or so, Samsung has filed injunctions against Apple products in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The dispute between the two companies has resulted in legal challenges being lodged by both parties for alleged patent and copyright infringement in a number of countries both inside and outside Europe. The cases outside of Europe are unaffected by today's news.

While the move might come as a surprise to some observers, software patent commentator Florian Mueller said the decision was likely a result of Hobson's Choice, or close to it.

"There can be no doubt whatsoever that the European Commission was behind this. Samsung would never have done this voluntarily, especially not in jurisdictions such as Germany that do not rule out SEP-based injunctions at all," Mueller wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

"There can be no doubt whatsoever that the European Commission was behind this" — Florian Mueller

Mueller also suggests there could be an informal agreement between Samsung and the European Commission that is behind the decision. The Commission is also investigating Samsung's activities in relation to antitrust licensing claims.

"What's unclear at this point is whether Samsung has a gentlemen's agreement with the European Commission that the antitrust investigation will be dropped — without remedies, or maybe with only soft remedies — if it withdraws its European requests for injunctions," Mueller said.

"If there is such an agreement, then the European Commission will soon comment favourably on Samsung's announcement and close the case. If there is no such agreement, then the investigation may continue and Samsung may still be fined, but it would certainly be in much better shape than if it had carried on with its enforcement, especially in Germany," he added.

Topics: Legal, Apple, Patents, Samsung, EU

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • expected

    Someone finally told Samsung that they risk 10% of their turnover if their claims are not held up and are found to abuse FRAND.
    • And in related news

      Free ipads for all EC members.
      • Hey, Gutless.

        Here to start posting unfounded smears against people?
        • msalzberg - why get upset at him for doing the same thing that

          cloggedbottom7 and others do?

          At least he said that in obvious jest. The others just lie and post unfounded smears against people in the hope that somebody will think it's factual.

          Learn to have some fun sometimes.
          William Farrel
          • @William Farrel

            Given the lies he posted about me here: I have earned the right to call him out as a liar who hasn't the guts to apologize.

            Personally, I have fun more often than not. I just don't like liars.
          • @William Farrel...

            I do find 'cloggedbottom' (as you call him) offensive, as I find many of the trolls offensive. However, it's not my job to police ZDNEt. If others have problems with lies being posted about them, they can speak for themselves.

            In this case, he outright lied about me. It's easily verified. To paraphrase him, I wonder if his mother knows that he's a shameless liar.
    • No one bothered to tell apple?

      Oh yes they did, the judge of course. Do apple not have any friends danbi?
      Little Old Man