Has Samsung finally tired of the fight? The company offered to stop launching any new patent lawsuits for five years in exchange for the European Union (EU) dropping its investigation into the device maker’s patent licensing practices.
the European Commission (EC) published an open call for comments on Samsung’s proposal, which also states the device maker will agree to a negotiation period of 12 months in any future dispute, after which it will rely on a court or arbitrator to draw up an agreement.
Yankee Group Senior Analyst Boris Metodiev comments
“We have long predicted that device manufacturers involved in the patent wars will try to reach settlement sooner rather than later, with prolonged battles piling up legal fees. With Samsung on the losing end against Apple more often than not, I expected that the South Korean manufacturer would end up paying Apple royalties
, which would enable the companies to continue with business as usual.
That said, I in no way anticipated Samsung would try to push through such a sneaky proposal to the EC. First, the standard essential patents (SEPs) Samsung has been accused of failing to license on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis have no expiration period, meaning that abusing them will not be any more right or wrong after five years than it is now. Second, if Samsung doesn’t reach agreement with the company using its SEPs within the proposed 12 months, which seems very likely, it gives Samsung carte blanche to pursue injunction. I fully expect the EC to reject the proposal, which will leave Samsung with very little room to maneuver. Eventually, it must accept that it needs to stop using SEPs as a bargaining chip in its court battles.”