Samsung being investigated in South Korea for Apple patent abuse

Apple alleged in a complaint earlier this year that Samsung is abusing its portfolio of wireless patents

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission is investigating a complaint by Apple that arch-rival manufacturer Samsung is abusing its wireless technology patents in the country, an official said Friday.

"Apple filed the complaint against Samsung early this year and we have been investigating the case," said Noh Sang-seop, a Fair Trade Commission's anti-monopoly director. No further details about the complaint or the investigation were provided.

In March, Apple accused Samsung of violating the country's fair trade act, after which Samsung submitted a rebuttal, according to a report by The Hankyoreh, a South Korean newspaper.

Both Apple and Samsung spokesmen declined to comment.

Analysts said that the patents are not suited to the offensive lawsuits that the companies have lobbed at each other around the globe -- in particular, patents covering technology that are essential to industry standards. In Samsung's case, it pledged more than a decade ago to license its communications patents on fair and reasonable terms.

"[Samsung's] standard essential patents won't be a strong weapon in the ongoing patent war, it should only use them as a shield, ... , [Samsung] should rather focus on developing more effective 3G-, 4G- technology patents," said Park Chan-hoon, a patent lawyer at Kangho Attorneys at Law.

The regulator's probe in South Korea comes to light as the two companies, which together account for half the world's smartphone market, are clashing in lawsuits in 10 countries, and less than two weeks after Apple's significant victory over Samsung in a U.S. court, which found Samsung guilty of violating Apple patents and cleared Apple of infringing on the South Korean firm's intellectual property.

Samsung faired better in a Seoul court, which ruled last month that Apple had violated its telecommunications-related patents.

Since Apple first sued Samsung last April for patent infringement, Samsung has fired back in European courts claiming its right over the standard essential patents. The European Commission is investigating whether Samsung is in breach of European Union antitrust law due to its assertion of standard-essential patents.

Samsung is the largest conglomerate in South Korea, contributing about 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

If Apple is successful in either E.U. or South Korean courts, Samsung will probably have to pay damages and agree to license fees for its technologies that will likely be lower than what it has demanded in previous negotiations with Apple, said Park Kyung-shin, a law professor at Korea University.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Yewon Kang

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?