The European Commission has asked Apple and Samsung to provide information about the patent infringement claims being made in their legal battle.
It appears the EC is concerned about so-called ‘standards-related’ patents. This refers to technology that forms part of internationally-recognised standards - and this type of technology is required to be licensed in a way that’s fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (‘FRAND’).
Apple has previously claimed that Samsung’s patents - if they’re valid - would require licensing on FRAND terms because they’re essential to 3G telephony.
Florian Mueller, the intellectual property analyst who blogs at FOSS Patents, wrote that “This investigation has the potential to force Samsung to withdraw most of its claims against Apple”.