Samsung abused FRAND patents against Apple according to Japanese court

For those unfamiliar with FRAND terms, it’s basically where companies agree to license patents out to one another under Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory terms. Not all patents are covered under FRAND, but rather patents that are considered to be standard essential, meaning that without it, the entire product would not work at all. Well it looks like over in Japan, the Japanese courts have found that Samsung has abused their FRAND patents against Apple. This was actually decided back in 2013, but Samsung appealed the ruling in which the court of appeals in Japan had to convene a “Grand Panel” to hear the case. 

Apple made legal progress in its battle with Samsung over patents in Japan this week when the Tokyo District Court ruled that Samsung had indeed illegally abused its Standards Essential Patents to demand a sales ban and excessive royalties against the iPhone maker. Samsung had sought to use its patents related to the 3GPP mobile standard to win significant royalties against Apple, in addition to an injunction against sales of iPhone 4, in a Japanese case similar to the one the South Korean firm brought against Apple via the U.S. International Trade Commission (a case that was vetoed by the Obama Administration). In Europe, Samsung was similarly blocked from seeking sales bans against competitors in cases that involved a Standards Essential Patent (SEP) following an E.U. investigation into the company’s behavior. In Japan, Samsung’s parallel efforts to leverage a patent obtained during the development of open standards and then weaponize it against its competitors has now been shot down in a major policy ruling on the abuse of SEPs in that country.

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