Feds Investigate Samsung's Use of Patents

First reveal of the inquiry comes from ... Apple
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2012 2:27 PM CDT
A visitor passes by the entrance way to Samsung Electronics Co.'s showroom at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – The latest volley in the Apple-Samsung wars: Apple has revealed that the Justice Department is investigating its rival over the possible misuse of Samsung patents. The news came in a legal filing by Apple with the US International Trade Commission, but the Dow Jones news service confirms that the inquiry has been going on for months. Samsung is the subject of a similar investigation in Europe.

The claim involves patents considered essential to wireless technology, and Don Reisinger at CNET explains the issue: "When a company's patents are deemed standard and essential, it must offer them on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) basis," he writes. "Apple has argued time and again that some of Samsung's wireless patents, which have been deemed standard-essential, are being offered on unfair terms, stifling competition." (Read more Samsung stories.)

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