DOJ closes Samsung investigation

The Department of Justice has closed its investigation of Samsung over claims that the company used its patent portfolio to exclude Apple products from the U.S. market.

The Department was investigating whether Samsung was inappropriately using its Standard Essential Patents — patents for technologies that are incorporated into industry standards and must be licensed on “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms” — to keep Apple products from being sold in the U.S. in the ongoing battle for market power between the two mobile device companies.

Last year, the International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Samsung after the company argued that certain iPads and iPhones infringed on Samsung’s patents. In siding with Samsung, the Commission banned the older Apple products form American markets.

Through the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Obama administration intervened to prevent a ban on those Apple products.

The Department announced Friday that the Obama administration’s intervention made the investigation unnecessary, and the investigation would be closed.

“As a result of the USTR’s action, the Antitrust Division has determined that no further action is required at this time,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

“The Antitrust Division is therefore closing its investigation into Samsung’s conduct, but will continue to monitor further developments in this area.”