Apple and Samsung have been raging a legal war against each other over the past several months, and while Samsung lost a $1 billion lawsuit earlier this year, the company may be in for even more hurt. Samsung might be facing a serious blow from the European commission for trying to get Apple products banned in Europe.
Essentially, Samsung could face a $15 billion fine for using “standard-essential” patents in its attempts to ban Apple devices in its ongoing patent battle with Apple. The European commission could tack on a massive fine of up to 10% of Samsung’s global turnover following its investigation into Samsung’s use of these standard-essential patents. Samsung’s revenue totaled $148.9 billion in 2011, so fines in Europe alone could reach $14.8 billion.
These standard-essential patents basically mean that Samsung has made a formal commitment to license these technologies to all parties that wish to utilize them for a fee, but if fees cannot be agreed upon by the parties involved, a price must be set by a court. Apple had offered to license the patents in the past, but it was unable to strike an agreement with Samsung.
However, Samsung isn’t the only company that may be facing big fines. Google-owned Motorola Mobility might face similar fines for trying to get Microsoft’s Xbox 360 banned in Europe by using their standard-essential patents. While Apple has tried to have Samsung’s products banned too, Apple has used patents that are not part of any standard in legal proceedings. Apple offered to pay a licensing fee on the patents owned by Samsung, but they ended up refusing the offer.
[via The Guardian]