Apple vs Samsung (Photo : Reuters)
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has begun investigating Samsung to see if the electronics giant is unfairly competing in the mobile phones market by abusing its dominance in wireless technology patents.
Apple, which is currently embroiled in patent litigation against Samsung in ten countries, has filed complaints against Samsung claiming that Samsung's abuse of power regarding patents is hurting competition in the marketplace.
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According to a report from Reuters, in 1998 Samsung vowed to license its 3G patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Samsung maintains that it has upheld its side of the licensing bargain in licensing its telecom standards-related patents.
"We are reviewing whether allegations in the complaint lodged by Apple are true," said an unnamed source at the Korea FTC. "Apple filed a complaint earlier this year that Samsung is breaching fair trade laws."
Apple is the only company thus far to file complaints against Samsung in this area. The company lost a case against Samsung in Japan recently, but garnered a win in the United States. The U.S. trial was decided by jury, who mandated Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages and banned eight Samsung products from the U.S. marketplace. Samsung is appealing that decision, however, last week Apple filed another brief in the same court seeking additional product bans on newer Samsung devices including the Galaxy S3 as well as additional monetary damages.
Samsung has also filed a number of complaints against Apple, saying that the company is using several of its 3G patents for wireless technology without license agreements. In late August a court in South Korea ruled that both Apple and Samsung were infringing on each other's patents and as a result banned four Apple products and twelve Samsung products from the South Korean marketplace.