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Samsung moves to appease EU on Apple patent fight

27 September 2013, 22:07

Brussels - South Korea's Samsung has answered accusations by Brussels that the company abused its dominant market position by taking out unfair injunctions against rival Apple, the European Commission said on Friday.

In the drawn-out fight between the giants over the smartphone and tablet market, the Commission believes legal manoeuvres launched by Samsung would unfairly prevent Apple from access to crucial shared patents.

But Samsung has sought to remedy the problem, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a speech in New York, without providing further details.

"I can announce that following a long discussion, Samsung has just formally submitted a set of commitments to address our concerns. We will soon launch a market test on these proposals," Almunia said.

In December, the Commission informed Samsung that its injunctions over Apple's access to Standard-Essential Patents (SEPS) were in violation of EU anti-trust rules.

The warning came after Brussels opened a probe early in 2012 following Samsung injunctions to ban the sale of products made by its competitors in several European countries, alleging that they were illegally using its patents.

But last year Samsung dropped a request to ban Apple products in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands though it proceeded with lawsuits. It was this latter aspect that had to be examined.

Apple and Samsung have filed lawsuits against each other in around a dozen countries for alleged patent violations over competing products, in particular the iPhone and Galaxy S smartphones, as well as tablet computers.

In the United States last week, a judge ordered a new trial to review damages tossed out in a landmark patent case involving Apple and Samsung.

The retrial became necessary after the judge cut some $450 million from a damage award of more than $1 billion to be paid by Samsung in a case in which the US firm accused its South Korean rival of copying technology from the iPhone and iPad.




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