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November 04, 2011

European Regulators Investigate Samsung, Apple on Patents, Antitrust Issues
By Ed Silverstein
TMCnet Contributor

European Regulators Investigate Samsung (News - Alert), Apple on Patents, Antitrust Issues



Samsung Electronics and Apple are getting more scrutiny from European regulators on issues such as antitrust and patent infringement, according to news reports.

The latest move by the European Commission comes as Apple (News - Alert) and Samsung are fighting it out in courts located in 10 different countries over tablets and smartphones, Reuters reports.

"The (European) Commission has indeed sent requests for information to Apple and Samsung concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector," according to an EU statement quoted by Reuters (News - Alert).

In addition, Reuters reports that the European Commission can fine a company if it broke European Union rules.

Apple claims Samsung's Galaxy tablets and mobile "slavishly" copied technology found in the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad, according to news reports. For its part, Samsung has sued Apple in several locations claiming patent infringement.

Last month, TMCnet reported that a Dutch court rejected Samsung's attempt for an injunction to ban the sale of Apple's products. Samsung sued Apple in four patent infringement cases in The Netherlands.

In other recent news, Apple lost a court ruling in Spain that relates to NT-K, which could be far-reaching, with possible impact on other intellectual property cases, according to TMCnet.

Apple had claimed that NT-K’s (Nuevas Tecnologías y Energías Catalá) Android (News - Alert) tablet, the NT-K Pad, “copied the iPad tablet.” Apple demanded that NT-K “destroy its stock” of the tablet. NT-K said no and Apple got an injunction in court.

As the fight continued, NT-K was banned from importing its tablet computer into Spain; shipments were seized; and it was considered as a “pirate” by European officials, TMCnet said. But this week a Spanish court said the tablets “do not infringe the Community design rights that Apple claimed.”

Earlier it was also reported that a court in Australia temporarily banned the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet in Australia – a clear legal victory for Apple, TMCnet adds.


Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

 

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