Well, isn’t this good for Samsung. The Smartphone maker has spent a considerable amount of time in the legal system as of late. However, the maker of all things Galaxy has managed to escape legal issues this time. The United States Department of Justice has decided to stop its investigation of the company using standards-essential patents to stop some of Apple, Inc.’s products from showing up in the U.S. Market. The DOJ says the inquiry is no longer necessary
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Competition is important and what matters most is what good things come to the consumers at large as a result of fair play. Sometimes big companies like Samsung, Apple, HTC and Microsoft get into patent wars in order to get a leg up on the other companies. They try as hard as they can to ensure that the rivals involved can use less and less technology that looks too similar. This is a good thing in the long run because it makes the companies strive to make products that are differentiated. But, the government still has to make sure that things are fair and impartial and that the public at large is best served.
You may recall that Samsung was trying to prevent Apple from selling certain products by going through the International Trade Commission to obtain a sales ban on certain Apple products. They succeeded in obtaining that ban in June of last year. How happy they must have been to turn the tables on Apple’s patent bashing by barring the company from selling certain devices.
However, there was a problem for Samsung later. President Obama and his administration decided to overturn the sales ban imposed on Apple products. This has ironically made it where the DOJ was able to now cease investigation on Samsung for the use of standards-essential patents because the Obama administration has already taken care of the matter. The administration has fought to make sure competition in the U.S. remains strong, believing that eliminating such ban would allow for better products to be made.
You may wonder exactly what an essential or standard-essential patent is. Put simply, it is a patent handled different that a regular patent. If a company gets a patent that deemed standard and/or essential it must offer them on a FRAND (Fair Reasonable And NonDiscrimatory) basis. When Apple Inc. takes a look at these FRAND patents and see that they may not be getting these offered to them fairly, they bring them to the attention of the U.S. Government, namely the Department of Justice.
Samsung has been blamed for trying to repeatedly block competition with by offering their standard and essential patents against FRAND policy. The Department of Justice and the ITC have been looking into Samsungs use of the patents and, prior to the decision of the Obama administration, had been investigating hard into Samsungs dealings. However, that all changed after the Obama administration’s decision. Now, with the DOJ’s decision, it brings this matter to a close.
Albeit the war is far from over as these two companies will be far from finished. There are plenty of other litigations going on between these two companies and the battles literally span the globe. I think this is a good move as, on the whole, it will allow for both Apple and Samsung to give better products to the consumer. What do you think of this development and what it means for competition? Please leave your interesting comments in the comment section below. Keep it locked to Android Headlines for more up to the minute news and reviews.