Samsung avoids penalty in U.S. case

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Samsung avoids penalty in U.S. case

Samsung Electronics won’t be penalized for its efforts to exclude certain Apple products from the U.S. market after the Justice Department closed an investigation without taking action.

The department’s antitrust division closed its review because the U.S. Trade Representative in August vetoed an import ban won by Samsung against some older Apple iPhone models, the United States said in a statement on Saturday. The case involved Samsung patents on essential technology used throughout the mobile phone industry.

The antitrust division “will continue to monitor further developments in this area,” the Justice Department said.

Lauren Restuccia, a spokeswoman for Samsung, and Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined comment on the Justice Department’s decision.

In overturning the ban, the U.S. Trade Representative cited its concerns that patents on essential mobile phone technology could be used to thwart competition.

The Justice Department and the Patent and Trademark Office issued a policy paper a year ago on the issue. They said that while patent owners have the right to exclude others from using their inventions, the public benefit of allowing such exclusions is limited when it comes to standard-essential patents.

Bloomberg

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