With the legal battle between Samsung and Apple becoming a saga of several lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, some new characters are entering the storyline. As some of the patents are subject to FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) licensing terms, Samsung may find itself in a difficult position.
European Commission is opening a preliminary investigation against Samsung to examine whether the lawsuits filed by Samsung against Apple in various European courts have abused the standards of FRAND. The Commission believes that patents should not be used as weapons in court battles. If the theory of European Commission turns out to be right after investigation, then Samsung would be left red-faced, forced to withdraw lawsuits against Apple and pay some fine as well.
European Commission is gathering reports from all concerned parties.
Three lawsuits against Apple, filed by Samsung have already been dismissed. Apple had the upper hand even before these lawsuits due to the court-imposed ban on the sales of Galaxy Tab 10.5 in Australia due to patent infringement. The design of Galaxy Tab 10.5 had striking similarities with iPad. This was the reason for Apple to sue Samsung and the judge agreed with Apple’s claims. Since then, Samsung has been trying to file cases against Apple, seeking ban on the sales of Apple gadgets like iPhone 4S.