Samsung, Apple fiasco continues with South Korean FTC probe

By Lee Kaelin on September 6, 2012, 9:52 AM

Samsung's run of misery continues today after South Korea's Fair Trade Commission announced its intention to launch an investigation into allegations by Apple that the electronics firm is abusing its leading position in the smartphone market to disadvantage its rival.

It adds further complications to an already complex global legal battle with the iPhone maker and follows the landmark US case between the two firms last month that resulted in Apple walking away with over one billion dollars in compensation after Samsung was found to be violating multiple patents.

"We are reviewing whether allegations in the complaint lodged by Apple are true," an unnamed Fair Trade Commission official said, on the condition of anonymity, as the details are still private. "Apple filed a complaint earlier this year that Samsung is breaching fair trade laws."

For its part, Samsung is seeking a ban on infringing Apple products in several markets for allegedly using several of its third-generation patents for its wireless technology without license agreements. Apple maintains that the patents in question are essential technology for wireless 3G devices, and their South Korean counterpart is refusing to offer licenses to use the patents under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

On August 24, a South Korean court ruled that both firms were infringing on patents they held. The fines levied were relatively small but products from each side face bans as part of the verdict. Apple had its iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2 barred from sale, and for Samsung's wrongdoing, 12 of its Galaxy smartphones and tablets joined Apple's devices. The court even went as far as to say that Samsung was within its rights to pursue a sales ban and was not abusing its position.

The South Korean firm strongly denies any abuse of power. Referring to its 1998 agreement with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to license its 3G patents on FRAND terms, a spokesperson said "Samsung has at all times met its obligations to the fair licensing of its telecommunications standards-related patents."

User Comments: 4

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | Tygerstrike said:

Which round are we in right now 7? 8? Ive lost count. Once again CrApple starts with low blows and works its way up. I cant wait for Samsung to have "production problems" for something Apple has them contracted to do. Apple used to embody the American success story. Rise up become succesfull, get crushed, rise back up even stronger then ever. Now they have moved to the more seedy side of that story. Become succesfull, destroy any competition, rule the world.

Im just wondering when my toothbrush will have a Apple logo on it............

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Were on the round ' who gives a crap '; Apple has shown it's self abundantly to everyone, but the most epic failure of a I-drone, to be self involved, petulant, morally and ethically corrupt, willing to use every trick in the book to strong arm anyone that gets in the way of what they want, ( local city council and even the US tax man..). Apple is one of those companies that has fulling embraced the 'cult of personality' to sell their product and the revenues from that, to put down innovation around them. Reminds me of MS from the 80-90's.

Apple needs to die in a fire.

1 person liked this | Jibberish18 said:

All super large companies are dirty in one way or another. They'll do whatever to get the almighty $

avoidz avoidz said:

Apple fight dirty.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.