Motorola may have “abused its position” during Apple patent fight

May 6, 2013
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EU officials have recently gone after Motorola Mobility saying they may have abused their position when they filed a patent injunction against Apple. Basically, the EU Competition Commission has said Motorola went after the injunction even as Apple made attempts at working towards an agreement.

Apple had indeed made offers, however the two companies never came to an agreement on the price. This all stems back to a February 2012 patent case that ultimately resulted in the iPad and iPhone being removed from the Apple website (in Germany) for a short time. The patent in question deals with the GPRS data transmission standard used by GSM cellular networks across the world. More to the point here, this is what is known as an SEP (standard-essential patent).

These SEP patents are ones that have been determined to be essential and those holding these patents (in this case Motorola) are obligated to license them based on Frand (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. Basically, Motorola should have been obligated to license these patents for use by Apple at a fair price. This is where the EU comments are stemming from as Apple was said to have made the appropriate offers.

The EU Competition Commission has said Motorola went after the injunction despite the offers and Apple's "apparent willingness." Further comments from the EU talk about how protecting intellectual property and competition are both important. The end result at the moment, for now this is a "preliminary view" and Motorola still has a chance to defend themselves.

[via BBC News]


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