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Home News & Events COMPETITION LAW NEWS: EU Commission Endorses Injunction Commitments by Samsung Electronics on SEPs

COMPETITION LAW NEWS: EU Commission Endorses Injunction Commitments by Samsung Electronics on SEPs

Sunday, 25 May 2014 15:15

The EU Commission has recently announced that it has endorsed the commitments proposed by Samsung Electronics as legally binding under the EU Competition regime which commitments, contemplate that Samsung Electronics is not to seek any injunctions in Europe for a term of five (5) years in the European Economic Area (EEA), on the basis of its standard essential patents (SEPs) for smartphones and tablets against any licensees who sign up to a specified licensing framework, thus providing a ‘safe harbour’ or protection to any such licensees of the relevant SEPs.

Under the relative commitments, any dispute which might arise over what are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (better known as "FRAND") terms for the relative SEPs would be determined by a court of law, or should both parties agree, by way of an arbitration.

Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President responsible for EU Competition Policy is said to have commented that "The protection of intellectual property and competition are both key drivers of innovation and growth. This is why it is essential that intellectual property is not misused to the detriment of healthy competition and, ultimately, of consumers. In this context, I welcome Samsung's commitment to resolve disputes on standard essential patents without having recourse to injunctions in a way that could harm competition. Together with today's decision in the Motorola case, the Commission's decision to accept Samsung's commitments provides clarity to the industry on what constitutes an appropriate framework to settle disputes over "FRAND" terms in line with EU antitrust rules. I would also encourage other industry players to consider establishing similar dispute resolution mechanisms."