The legal war between Apple and Samsung is escalating, and now the European Commission is involved, as the European Commission has contacted Apple and Samsung, according to a statement posted by Florian Mueller on his FOSS Patents blog.
"The Commission has indeed sent requests for information to Apple and Samsung concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector," the statement says. "Such requests for information are standard procedure in antitrust investigations to allow the Commission to establish the relevant facts in a case. We have no other comments at this stage."
Standards-essential patents means they have been incorporated in accepted technology standards, which in the case of Samsung and Apple, means 3G and UMTS technology. If any of Samsung's or Apple's legal claims against each other are based on such commonly used "patents," EC's investigation could frce any of these companies to withdraw their claims.
Apple is suing Android makers in six countries over what it perceives as a wholesale theft of the technology that makes its iPhone distinctive. Samsung has sued back, claiming Apple is infringing on a variety of its telecommunications patents.