Dec 18th, 2012

As the final rulings are reached in Apple’s case against Samsung in the US, the latter company is rethinking its litigation strategy in Europe. Today Samsung released a statement saying they would withdraw injunction requests against Apple in Europe. Samsung cites “protecting consumer choice” as a driving force behind the decision.

The real reason might go a bit deeper than simply “protecting consumer choice,” but Samsung is framing their decision so as to say “we’re taking the high road.” Perhaps it signals a shift in Samsung’s mentality towards reaching an out-of-court agreement (the company did, after all, say it was open to negotiating a settlement with Apple). Perhaps the Korean company is feeling the blows of one too many unfavorable court decisions.

The injunctions in question were based on Samsung’s standards-essential patents, which have proven tricky to litigate in the past. Currently, such patents are to be licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Groups including Apple and the European Commission have questioned in the past if Samsung has been abusing such patents.

A recent decision in a dispute between Motorola and Microsoft set a precedent to forego injunctions for standards-based patents in favor of FRAND-based fees. The complication in seeking an injunction on such patents arrises from their use of certain openly available standards, such as a video codec or wireless format. It was determined that given the availability of such technology to all, it could not be proven that infringement had caused irreparable harm.

[via The Verge]

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