The US Department of Justice recently said it will be closing an investigation into Samsung’s use of deemed standard essential patents as a tool against other corporations. It does promise to monitor the company’s ongoing patent litigation though. Although the Justice Department will not take action against Samsung at this time, it did admonish the company’s use of declared essential patents as tools to more favorable licensing terms according to Reuters.
In a statement released by the DoJ, the agency noted a number of issues arise when using SEPs to block the competition from selling products. This brings up questions regarding anticompetitive strategies. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:
While there are certain circumstances where an exclusion order as a remedy for infringement of such patents could be appropriate, in many cases there is a risk that the patent holder could use the threat of an exclusion order to obtain licensing terms that are more onerous than would be justified by the value of the technology itself, effectively exploiting the market power obtained through the standards-setting process.
The Cupertino California company granted a reprieve from the injunction however as President Barack Obama vetoed the ITC decision in August of 2013 over concerns that SEPs would be used to gain “undue leverage” over competitors. Based on that decision, the DoJ said the following:
The Antitrust Division is therefore closing its investigation into Samsung's conduct, but will continue to monitor further developments in this area.
Source: Department of Justice (Press Release) via Reuters