Replying to a request for comment from Bloomberg, Samsung said that it believes the “enforcement of its 3G standard-essential patents is consistent with all applicable antitrust principles,” adding that it believes, “upon the scrutiny of the facts, the commission will conclude that Samsung Electronics has acted in compliance with EU competition rules.”
On Monday, Samsung’s legal woes appeared to be worsening after the European Union’s antitrust watchdog announced that it suspected the company was denying fair access to patents it holds on standardised technology for mobile phones.
The European Commission said it would look into whether Samung illegally prevented competitiors, which includes Apple, from using key patents it holds on mobile phone technologies, despite committing to doing so in 1998.
The EC press release stated:
The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
Fair use patents are becoming a hot topic, with Apple falling foul of Motorola’s FRAND patents in a case in Germany.
The Cupertino-based company was forced to remove sales listings of its iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 3G products in the country, having been found to have infringed on 3G/UTMS technologies registered by Motorola.