Samsung is facing a potential $15 billion fine for attempting to ban the iPhone and iPad in Europe in the latest legal battle between the two tech companies.
The South Korean tech giant is in trouble with the European commission’s competition arm for trying to ban the Apple products using its “standard-essential” patents on 3G, reports The Guardian.
Motorola Mobility, the Google-owned smartphone company, could be facing similar fines. It used its own SEPs to try and ban sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 because of Wi-Fi and H.264 video standards.
It is also possible that the companies will be leveled fines by the United States Federal Trade Commission over similar issues. A judge in December ruled on a court case between Motorola and Apple, saying that Motorola’s use of their SEPs were a “hold-up.”
Samsung is currently being investigated by the trade commission as well for their use of standard-essential patents in their ongoing legal battle against Apple.
Yahoo! News notes that standard-essential patents are ones that the IP owner (Samsung and Motorola, in these cases) has made a commitment to offer the technologies as a license to all parties who want to use them for what is considered a “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” fee. If no fee can be agreed upon between the companies, a court will set the price.
Apple earlier offered to license the patents related to the case, but they were unable to gain agreement with Samsung on the contract. Samsung formally withdrew their motion to ban the iPhone and iPad in Europe last week, but the damage has already been done. In removing their request, the South Korean company stated:
“Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court.”
The fine Samsung will likely receive from the European commission’s competition arm could be up to 10 percent of the company’s worldwide turnover. For the South Korean company, this means the fine could be upwards of $15 billion.