Samsung Electronics is abandoning their attempts to seek a sales ban on the Apple iPhone and iPad in Europe based on patents related to wireless standards. This may be a way for Samsung to stop regulators from investigating Samsung’s use of the standard wireless patents. Earlier this week Judge Lucy Koh refused to block the sales of dozens of Samsung mobile devices that a jury found violated numerous Apple patents.
Apple and Samsung have been fighting in court ever since Apple sued Samsung in California last year. A court in South Korea issued injunctions against each side. This past summer Apple was awarded over $1 billion in damages by a jury in San Jose, California. The court found that Samsung had infringed on multiple Apple patents including designs related to the iPhone.
This past Monday, Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple’s request to halt the sales of 26 Samsung devices. Samsung said that they no longer sell 23 of those devices and they redesigned their software to avoid Apple’s patents. Judge Koh argued that Apple failed to prove that consumers bought an iPhone or iPad because of the features that Samsung was supposedly infringing on.
Apple declined to comment on Judge Koh’s ruling, but a Samsung spokesperson said that they were “pleased” with the results.
In Europe, Samsung was seeking injunctions against Apple products in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Samsung said that they are dropping the injunctions in the interest of consumer choice, but they will continue pursuing lawsuits for damages around alleged patent infringements.
Standard-essential patents are required to be licensed on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms that are known as FRAND. FRAND patents are encouraged not to be used against competitors for injunctions or enforcing excessively high royalty payments.
After Samsung started using the wireless standard patents against Apple, the European Commission launched a formal antitrust probe into the way that Samsung uses their standard-essential patents at the start of the year.