Motorola Mobility Catches EU Complaint for Patent Abuse Towards Apple
May 6, 2013 11:15 AM
comment(s) - last by
The European Commission said that this EU complaint concerns Motorola Mobility’s issues with Apple in Germany
Motorola Mobility was slapped with a European Union antitrust complaint for seeking injunctions to block Apple's use of certain patents.
Motorola Mobility, which was
purchased by Google in 2011
for $12.4 billion, received a complaint from the EU stating that the company may be abusing its dominant position by seeking injunctions against Apple in Germany. This would block Apple from using patents that are essential for products to comply with industry-agreed technical standards.
Industry-standard technology makes sure that products -- like mobile phone antennas and GPS -- can operate together, even when they're made by different manufacturers.
The EU opened an antitrust investigation into Motorola Mobility in April 2012 after Apple and Microsoft complained that Motorola Mobility was seeking injunctions to block their use of patents -- which Google said was essential for creating standard-compliant products.
The European Commission said that this EU complaint concerns Motorola Mobility’s issues with Apple in Germany, but the part of the investigation concerning Microsoft products is "continuing."
"The protection of intellectual property is a cornerstone of innovation and growth," said Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia. "But so is competition. I think that companies should spend their time innovating and competing on the merits of the products they offer – not misusing their intellectual property rights to hold up competitors to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice."
Just last month, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola -- a federal judge in Miami, Florida -- said that Apple and Motorola Mobility are
wasting the court's time
with patent infringement lawsuits that they have no intention of solving.
“The parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end,” said Judge Scola. “That is not a proper use of this court.”
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/6/2013 4:13:52 PM
For better or for worse, that's where this is heading. Courts clamping down on the types of suits you can file with a FRAND patent due to fear of abuse -> FRAND patents being worth less -> nobody wanting to submit their patent under FRAND -> balkanization of the electronics industry and the disappearance of compatibility. It's important to realize that preventing abuse isn't the only goal here. We're trying to walk the tightrope between preventing abuse, while simultaneously allowing FRAND to be lucrative enough for companies to
submit their patents under FRAND.
FRAND patents have typically had a lower royalty rate than regular patents (OP is slightly wrong here); it's just offset by increased units sold due to the patent being a standard. The danger is that if the courts continue ruling as they are, the total of
(FRAND royalty per device) * (FRAND units sold)
may become less than the total of
(regular patent royalty per device) * (units sold).
When that happens, the "prevent abuse" line crosses the "lucrative" line, and the tightrope ceases to exist. FRAND will still be around - small two-bit companies will submit their mediocre patents to it to try to increase their name recognition. But nobody who's competitive will use it. They will be using their own proprietary and incompatible schemes (e.g. Logitech's wireless mice not using bluetooth) because they're so much better than the FRAND-based "standard".
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
Florida Judge: Apple, Motorola Mobility Have No Intention of Solving Patent Cases
April 11, 2013, 2:18 PM
UPDATE: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility, Gain Huge Patent Portfolio
August 15, 2011, 7:45 AM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Can HTC Save Its "RE Grip" Smartband After Its Inexplicable Failure Launch?
July 17, 2015, 2:29 PM
Facebook's "Moneypenny" is Cross Platform Siri on Steroids
July 15, 2015, 3:59 PM
Apple Watch Sales Have Plummeted
July 8, 2015, 5:01 PM
Consumer Reports: Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Can't Keep Up w/ Galaxy S5
July 6, 2015, 4:57 PM
Apple iOS 8.4 Rolls Out w/ Fix to Crash-Causing Unicode Text
June 30, 2015, 3:24 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft July 29 Windows 10 Launch: Freebies, Rollout, and What's Next
July 21, 2015, 2:40 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Google Scores Bizarre Court Win as Disgruntled Android Users' Lawyers Ruin Case
July 16, 2015, 5:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information