EU calls for comment on Samsung settlement offer

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Commission is calling for comments or objections to a proposal by Samsung to end one type of patent dispute over mobile telephones in Europe for the coming five years.

The Commission has said it believes the South Korean company may have abused its patent portfolio to stifle competition in areas where its technology is dominant, using lawsuits to block rivals such as Apple from bringing products to market when it should be offering licenses to use the technology on reasonable terms.

The commission's chief regulator Joaquin Almunia said Thursday that enforcing patents is a legitimate business practice, but not when it involves technology that has become an industry standard.

In a bid to avoid punishment, Samsung has offered not to sue competitors over "standard-essential" patents for five years.