European Commission Issues Preliminary Antitrust Ruling Against Motorola Mobility

This week the European Commission issued a preliminary antitrust ruling against Google’s Motorola Mobility related to its heavy handed tactics against Apple in German Courts. The finding could ultimately lead to a large fine for Motorola (and by extension Google) and could lead to Motorola being forced to enter an agreement with competitors to license its patents for a reasonable royalty rate.

"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," Joaquín Almunia, the European Union’s competition commissioner, said in a statement.

The ruling relates to Motorola Mobility's injunction from a German court preventing Apple from using standard-essential patents. These injunctions made it so that Apple had a harder time selling its products in Europe. The commission said that some injunctions to enforce patent claims are legitimate, but also believes that standard-essential patents need to have reasonable and nondiscriminatory licensing terms met before resorting to injunctions.

Motorola has two months to respond to the charges.

Source: NYT


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