We were only just thinking about how nice it is that Nokia and HTC have settled their differences and come to an understanding, entering into a patent collaboration agreement, when another story crosses our desk that reminds us just how far conflicts like this can go when the companies in question aren’t able to work things out.
Remember last summer when Samsung looked like it might very nearly be able to effect an import ban on certain Apple iOS devices? While the initial ITC ruling was on Samsung’s side, a coalition of interested parties spoke out against a ban they saw as unfair, unnecessary, and overreaching. Ultimately, President Obama vetoed the order and Apple was able to continue operating as usual, but all this caught the attention of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and today the DoJ issued a statement summarizing the end of its investigation.
The notice comes off more than anything as a stern warning to Samsung. Ultimately, the DoJ isn’t going to proceed with any action against Samsung, considering the matter closed, but makes it clear that it “will continue to monitor further developments in this area,” that area being the use of standards-essential patents to wield exploitative power over another company.