South Korea allows Samsung to continue use of SEPs in litigation, rejects Apple complaint

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
South Korea's antitrust authority, the Korea Fair Trade Commission, on Wednesday rejected an Apple complaint asserting Samsung is unfairly leveraging its portfolio of standard-essential wireless patents against rivals in ongoing litigation.

KFTC


The KFTC ruled against Apple's complaint against Samsung's alleged abuse of standard-essential patents, saying the South Korean company's court actions do not break Korean antitrust law, reports The Korea Times.

"What's important is how sincerely the two companies tried to resolve the patent dispute, but it is difficult to believe that Apple was sincere in negotiating with Samsung to iron out their differences," an unnamed KFTC official said. "Therefore, we don't think Samsung unfairly used the lawsuit to hinder Apple's business activities."

Wednesday's decision stems from Apple's 2012 complaint that Samsung misuses SEPs for 3G wireless technology to gain an unfair advantage over the competition. These patents are supposed to be licensed under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

As noted by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, the KFTC's wholesale rejection of Apple's complaint stands in stark contrast against identical investigations conducted by competition watchdog agencies in other countries. For example, both the U.S. Department of Justice and the EU's European Commission voiced concern over Samsung's use of FRAND patents as litigious weapons.

Although it closed an investigation into the matter without taking action earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice admonished Samsung for using SEPs as litigious weapons. The DoJ promised to monitor the company as pending litigation, such as the second Apple v. Samsung California patent trial, moves forward.

However, Mueller believes the KFTC's decision came largely as a result of a "soft line" stance on SEP issues taken by the U.S. and EU commissions. He cites the South Korean body's determination that Samsung did not have monopoly power because "more than 50 companies hold over 15,000 SEPs relating to 3G wireless communication (UMTS/WCDMA) technology," which is different from a case where "only one essential facility exists."

"This makes no sense at all because any one SEP (if truly essential to the standard, of course) can force someone out of the market," Mueller writes. "If Apple didn't need a license to Samsung's 3G SEPs on FRAND terms because it could, as it has, secure a license to, for example, Ericsson's SEPs reading on the same standard, then Samsung wouldn't have essential-facility power. But that's simply not the case."

Finally, the KFTC decision takes into account that Apple was first to file a patent lawsuit against Samsung and was therefore responsible for a litigious "negotiation atmosphere." Mueller points out that Apple sued Samsung over non-SEPs, which should be handled differently than declared standard-essential properties.

In a statement related to this idea, the KTFC official said, "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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39

    Cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

  • Reply 2 of 39
    Shock and horror
  • Reply 3 of 39

    Samsung = Corrupt company from a corrupt racist country. No surprises there. 

     

    F Samsung.

  • Reply 4 of 39
    Apple and Samsung should do a deal - Apple won't sell iPhones in Korea and Samsung won't sell their copies of iPhones in the US.
  • Reply 5 of 39

    If the US and EU are against abusing SEPs then some crooked judge in Korea is getting paid big bucks to allow it.  Samsung phones need to be banned in the US asap for copying and other IP violations.

  • Reply 6 of 39
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    I'll be interested to see if the KFTC keep this soft-tact when small SEP holders begin to hold out and hard-bargain with Samsung in South Korea. The 'ND' in FRAND is supposed to mean non-discriminatory, that's something that does not cater for softly defined decisions.

    While KFTC may find this tact is a useful service for one of their countries largest businesses. As their country has a large electronics manufacturing industry the long term result can only be a negative, complex and needlessly litigious one.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Wow! If a Korean court can support their national company, why cannot a US court? Oh I forgot, Lucy Koh is Korean!
  • Reply 8 of 39
    radster360 wrote: »
    .....Oh I forgot, Lucy Koh is Korean!

    You mean the same Judge Koh that presided over the $1 billion dollar judgement against her "Home Town Company"?
  • Reply 9 of 39
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    I met a Korean,

    Nice man but a liar.

    Told me he was Chinese

    so I sympathised,

    and passed him by.

    Regrets are the rites of dragon slayers

    and now to bed,

    I, to lie there,

    to wonder how

    some weave their tales

    and face the morning.

  • Reply 10 of 39
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radster360 View Post



    .....Oh I forgot, Lucy Koh is Korean!




    You mean the same Judge Koh that presided over the $1 billion dollar judgement against her "Home Town Company"?

    my memory might be a bit foggy, but wasn't it the jury that awarded the $1 billion judgement and not the Judge?  Also, I'm not too sure, but wasn't it this same Judge that tried to clear out almost 1/2 of this $1 billion award...only to have a second completely different jury in a second trial give most of it right back to Apple? I guess its possible I dreamed the whole thing. Seems too much like soap opera than reality.

  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radster360 View Post



    Oh I forgot, Lucy Koh is Korean!

     

    You also forgot she is Korean-American. Born and raised in the USA. Harvard grad.

  • Reply 12 of 39
    It's been a while that I have stopped even looking at anything with Samsung name on it! My last big purchase was a 60" TV. No matter how hard the sales guy tried, I chose SONY instead!

    Now, with all that said, how the f**k Americans still pay to buy some crap made by Samsung?!!
  • Reply 13 of 39
    ...
  • Reply 14 of 39
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    Simply put, fk the Koreans! I'll never buy a product directly from these scumbags.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    There's no bride or any dirty here.
    Anyone who know South Korea knows K-Gov = Samsung. (Maybe 10% is LG, but it's a time share. )
    Why else could a guy caught red handed with briding, tax fraud, antitrust, and block labor union can simply get a pardon because he pay money to Olympic, and still got to be a corporation chairman?
    Basically in South Korea, anyone who has a name in his/her field, their family must got money from Samsung somehow. And no one care.
    Forget China, US should get back the jobs Samsung steal.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,591member
    Actually I don't think it's the Korean courts defending its own, but just that Sammy wrote a bigger check.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,713member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Actually I don't think it's the Korean courts defending its own, but just that Sammy wrote a bigger check.

    And yet there was this one from just a few months ago where South Korean courts tossed a Samsung complaint against Apple. Huh.
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/12/11/apple-gets-court-win-in-south-korea-as-court-tosses-samsung-patent-claim
  • Reply 18 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post



    It's been a while that I have stopped even looking at anything with Samsung name on it! My last big purchase was a 60" TV. No matter how hard the sales guy tried, I chose SONY instead!



    Now, with all that said, how the f**k Americans still pay to buy some crap made by Samsung?!!

     

    You nailed it - Magnolia recommended a Samscum for my media room - I would have paid less for the Samscum - but I ended up paying around $7K or so for Sony 60 inch plus recollect -

     

    I would give up TV before buying any Samscum product - 

     

    S thinks they are scoring by "bribing" or equivalent pressure in their country - but no - they are losing - I would bet they are losing BILLIONS in sales/profit from what they would be getting if they played straight - e.g., don't steal from Apple, don't bribe or similar et al -  if they paid a reasonable license fee they would have ++++++++++++++++sales, more purchasing of parts by Apple - they are NUTS

     

    I will not buy any product whatsoever - even a product that Apple will never produce - ANYTHING

  • Reply 19 of 39
    Shady business, unimaginative products and oh so many missed opportunities (they KNEW the biggest complaint on their phones was, besides being a TOTAL crap-feast and butt ugly looks that EVERYONE HATED the plastic feel, you know, the feeling of a cheap product - and Samsung launches yet ANOTHER plastic shit. Although, I got to say, it does represents the truth (of being cheap and substandard product).

    Keep it up Samsung. We are DEFINITELY admiring your horrible business morals. /s
  • Reply 20 of 39
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    mhikl wrote: »
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">I met a Korean,</span>

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Nice man but a liar.</span>

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Told me he was Chinese</span>

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">so I sympathised,</span>

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">and passed him by.</span>

    Regrets are the rites of dragon slayers
    and now to bed,
    I, to lie there,
    to wonder how
    some weave their tales
    and face the morning.

    Very nice, mhikl. Very nice!!
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