South Korea to investigate Samsung antitrust complaints

South Korea to investigate Samsung antitrust complaints

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[JURIST] The Fair Trade Commission of Korea (KFTC) [official website] on Thursday said that South Korean regulators are investigating an Apple complaint alleging that Samsung Electronics [corporate website] is unfairly competing in the market to the disadvantage of its competitors. The antitrust claim avers [Reuters report] that Samsung is breaching fair trade laws by abusing its dominance in wireless technology patents. This is counter, alleges Apple, to the fair practice by which these standard-essential patents are supposed to be licensed in a nondiscriminatory fashion to allow other companies to adopt compatible technology. Samsung won a small victory on August 24 when a South Korean court ruled [JURIST report] that Apple had infringed upon two of the company’s patents related to mobile-data transfer technologies. However, the court also found that Samsung had infringed upon an Apple patent related to a touchscreen feature, ultimately leading to a South Korea sales ban on certain products from each company.

Apple and Samsung are currently embroiled in several patent lawsuits in courts all over the world. In Asia last week, a Tokyo court dismissed a claim [JURIST report] that Samsung violated Apple’s patents with its smartphones and tablets. In the US only two weeks ago, Apple moved to block eight Samsung products from being produced in the US just after it won a USD $1.05 billion judgment [JURIST report] against its competitor in California court. In Europe, a UK court ruled in July that Samsung tablets do not infringe on Apple’s design. The original patent suit [JURIST report] was brought in California by Apple in April of last year.