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EU: Samsung offers ceasefire in patent wars

 |  October 17, 2013

Smartphone maker Samsung has reportedly offered European regulators to stop launching lawsuits against its rival Apple to end an antitrust investigation into the company, the European Commission said Thursday.

Samsung made the offer after European authorities warned the company that the litigation violates competition law; fines could have reached $18.3 billion for Samsung, which engaged in a so-called patent war with Apple as the two sued each over for infringements of each other’s smartphone patents.

The two companies are the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers.

In a statement, the Commission confirmed that Samsung has offered to refrain from launching lawsuits for infringements on mobile standard essential patents for five years. The regulator is now seeking public comment on the offer.

The investigation into Samsung is part of a wider debate over the effects of SEP infringement lawsuits on innovation and competition. Similar charges were lodged against Motorola Mobility by the Commission last May. According to the watchdog, a conclusion to the case with Samsung could bring some clarity to the debate within the wireless sector.

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