Microsoft complains to the EU about Motorola Mobility

Microsoft alleges that Motorola is abusing its position with regard to essential patents

By Jennifer Baker, IDG News Service |  IT Management

According to patent expert Florian Mueller: "If every owner of standard-essential patents behaved like Motorola, this industry would be in chaos, and grind to a halt. Standard-essential patents aren't powerful because of their technical merits. Most of the time they aren't particularly innovative. They're just critical because they cover mandatory parts of standards."

"I'm profoundly concerned about the new and growing phenomenon of "FRAND abuse tourism": companies like Samsung and Motorola start litigation in places like Germany only because they see better chances of winning injunctions based on standard-essential patents than, for example, in the United States," continued Mueller. Mueller, who is sometimes paid for his work by companies including Microsoft, has been reporting and writing extensively about the patent battles among leading technology companies.

The Commission has not confirmed whether it will launch a formal investigation, but with such high-profile complaints on the table and Almunia's avowed wish to enforce FRAND for essential patents, it seems likely that formal proceedings will at least be considered.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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