Samsung offers five-year truce in European 'patent wars'
In this July 7, 2010 file picture a man walks past near the logos of the Samsung Electronics at its show room in Seoul, South Korea. (AP / Lee Jin-man,File)
Published Thursday, October 17, 2013 9:08AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 17, 2013 9:56AM EDT
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Samsung Electronics Co. has offered not to launch any patent lawsuits over key mobile telephone technology in Europe for the coming five years, in hopes of avoiding a fine from the European Commission.
The Commission reported Thursday the South Korean company's settlement offer and called for interested parties -- such as rivals Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. -- to respond.
The Commission's top regulator Joaquin Almunia believes Samsung tried to use its patent portfolio as a tool to stifle competition, seeking injunctions to keep Apple products that violated Samsung patents off the market.
Almunia said Thursday enforcing patents is a legitimate business practice. But once a technology becomes an industry standard, its owner must offer others a chance to license it on reasonable terms -- something Samsung failed to do.