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Samsung Can Use ‘Standard-Essential Patents’ Despite Apple’s Complaints, Korean Commission Rules

February 27, 2014 - Written By Patrick Northcraft

Patent Wars are never ending, troublesome, and ultimately annoying.  Hopefully we see an end to them in the near future, but until then we might as well keep you informed about them.  The Korean Fair Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung’s counter-patent lawsuit does not infringe on any existing competition laws, like the fair, resonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) principle, which is not what Apple wanted to hear.  The issue here is the fear that Samsung may use their numerous amounts of Standard-Essential Patents to help them secure a monopoly over the mobile industry.  Now as to whether or not this will actually happen remains to be seen, but the Korean Fair Trade Commission obviously feels like this is unlikely since they ruled in Samsung’s favor.  When asked about the ruling, a Korean Fair Trade Commission representative stated that Samsung with the standard-essential patents based on the FRAND licensing terms tried to resolve the matter and the level of patent license fee was not so high. Samsung’s lawsuit is a legitimate act to protect its patent rights.

This victory was two-pronged for Samsung, as the Korean Fair Trade Commission also ruled that another company, called Cupertino, had been infringing upon Samsung’s wireless patents.  When questioned as to why the Korean Fair Trade Commission felt that there was no evidence of a monopoly being formed, they stated that it was because more than 50 companies hold over 15,000 SEPs (Standard-Essential Patents) relating to 3G wireless communication (UMTS/WCDMA) technology.  Even though this is in contrast to what other organizations, such as the US Department of Justice or the European Commission, have found, the Korean Fair Trade Commission sticks to their ruling.  At the end of March, Samsung and Apple will sit in front of yet another judge for another patent case, this time involving more recent devices.  I for one am sick of these proceedings.  Yes, patents exist to protect the creators of a product, but the manipulation and alteration of the court system in this manner is not what was intended by the development of the patent court system.  It needs to stop, and hopefully is does before long.  But as of now, there is no real end in sight of this battle, so let’s just see how it pans out.  Any thoughts?  Feel free to share them down below!