The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has breached EU antitrust rules in the way it’s used some of its mobile-related patent rights.
It follows a number of legal cases in 2011 when Samsung claimed some of its patent rights had been infringed. These particular patents had been declared essential to European mobile telephony standards, with Samsung having previously told the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) that it would license them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The Commission will examine whether Samsung’s recent behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant position, which is prohibited under EU rules.
According to the EC, the opening of proceedings means the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority.