The European Commission (EC) has announced that it has opened anti-trust proceedings against Samsung over allegations it abused Apple patents in the manufacturing process of a number of its mobile phones.

EC officials said the case surrounds Samsung's obligations under Frand (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) patent licensing terms and that it was opening this investigation "in order to guarantee undistorted competition".

Frand terms allow manufacturers to use standard technology including signalling systems but it also guarantees that the company holding a patent cannot discriminate against others that want to use the same technology.

German technology consultant Florian Mueller who has chronicled the patent wars on his blog added: “Even though Samsung is at this stage the only company to be investigated over this issue, other suspected abusers could face similar inquiries anytime."

Apple recently lost its appeal in the Netherlands that tried to get the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet banned in the country.
Posted by Claire Marshall

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