Samsung: “improvements” in its commitments needed to avoid $18.3bn Apple fine

By Peter Gothard
09 Dec 2013 View Comments
A pile of smartphones

Samsung will need to make "improvements to [its] commitments" in order to dodge an $18.3bn (£11.2bn) fine that hangs over its head after the company's attempts to sue Apple over patent breaches backfired in the EU.

In legal action that has been rolling on between the two companies for three years, Samsung has now found itself at the mercy of European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

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In order to make amends for its patent lawsuits against Apple, which are currently being investigated for breaking EU rules, Samsung has currently agreed to discuss patent licensing fees with its rivals – including Apple – over a one-year period, as well as letting an independent arbitrator or court decide the outcome should disagreements arise.

It has also offered not to take competitors to court over patent disputes in any situation whatsoever over the next five years.

However, speaking at a patent conference held by event organisers Premier Cercle today, Almunia told delegates that he believes Samsung will still need to offer more in order to escape a proposed $18.3bn fine, and a loss of 10 per cent of the device maker's 2012 revenue if it cannot convince the EU that it can be trusted.

"We will take account of the feedback when we discuss with Samsung possible improvements to their commitments in the coming weeks," said Almunia, without further elaborating.

Meanwhile, in California, Apple is now asking Samsung for $22m of the legal fees it has spent defending its patents in court.

This figure is being sought after Apple has already secured $930m from Samsung after courts found it had infringed Apple patents in two separate cases.

A hearing has been scheduled for 30 January 2014 to examine Apple's request.

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