EU rules Motorola infringes antitrust law

EU rules Motorola infringes antitrust law

2014/5/7

The European Commission said on Tuesday that Motorola infringed European Union (EU) antitrust rules for abusing its dominant position as a standard essential patent (SEP) holder.


The commission said it was abusive for Motorola to both seek and enforce an injunction against Apple in Germany on the basis of an SEP, which it had committed to license on FRAND terms and where Apple had agreed to take a licence and be bound by a determination of the FRAND royalties by the relevant German court.


"The so-called smartphone patent wars should not occur at the expense of consumers. This is why all industry players must comply with the competition rules,"Joaquin Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for competition policy, said in a statement.


The commission also said it decided not to impose a fine on Motorola.


Motorola launched the injunction against Apple in Germany, while the EU believed the move unfair and uncompetitive for the technology in question was considered to be standard for the industry.


In a separate statement, the EU said it had reached a deal with Samsung after the company agreed to stop patent injunctions against its rivals.


"I welcome Samsung's commitment to resolve disputes on standard essential patents without having recourse to injunctions in a way that could harm competition," Almunia said in a statement.


"Today's decisions reflect the commission's balanced approach with respect to intellectual property rights and competition rules. Both competition and the protection of intellectual property are essential to innovation and growth," he added.


SEPs are patents essential to implement a specific industry standard. It is not possible to manufacture products that comply with a certain standard without accessing these patents. As a result, standards bodies generally require their members to commit to license SEPs on FRAND terms.


(Source: Xinhua)




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