AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co. has offered not to launch any patent lawsuits over key mobile telephone technology in Europe for the coming five years, in hopes of avoiding a fine from the European Commission.
The Commission reported Thursday the South Korean company's settlement offer and called for interested parties -- such as rivals Apple and Microsoft Corp. -- to respond.
The Commission's top regulator, Joaquin Almunia, believes Samsung tried to use its patent portfolio as a tool to stifle competition, seeking injunctions to keep Apple products that violated Samsung patents off the market.
Almunia said Thursday that enforcing patents is a legitimate business practice. But once a technology becomes an industry standard, its owner must offer others a chance to license it on reasonable terms -- something Samsung failed to do.