The Commission invites comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Samsung Electronics (“Samsung”) in relation to the enforcement of Samsung’s standard essential patents (“SEPs”) in the field of mobile communications. The proposed commitments address the Commission’s concerns that Samsung’s judicial proceedings to seek injunctions against Apple in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) on the basis of its mobile SEPs may violate Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). SEPs are patents that cover core technologies which are required for the basic functioning of interoperable devices. Seeking injunctions is generally a legitimate remedy for patent holders in case of patent infringements. However, access to SEPs is a precondition for any company to sell interoperable products in the market. According to the Commission, to seek an injunction based on SEPs may constitute abuse of a dominant position if the SEP holder has given a commitment to license its SEPs on Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms and where the company against which an injunction is sought is willing to enter into an agreement on those terms. The Commission is concerned that seeking injunctions in such circumstances could allow Samsung to impose royalty rates or other licensing terms, such as broad cross-licenses, which a licensee would not agree to without the threat of having its products excluded from the market. To remedy those concerns, Samsung has offered to abstain from seeking injunctions for mobile SEPs for a period of five years against any company that agrees to a particular licensing framework. The Commission invites interested parties to submit comments on Samsung’s proposal by mid-November and if the Commission concludes that the commitments address the competition concerns, it may adopt a decision making the commitments binding on Samsung.Source: Commission Press Release 17/10/2013