E.U. Commission Charges Google’s Motorola With Abusing Position By Enforcing Injunction Against Apple

E.U. Commission Charges Google’s Motorola With Abusing Position By Enforcing Injunction Against AppleThe European Commission had made a preliminary antitrust finding against Google’s Motorola Mobility,it has sent Motorola,  a list of complaints on how it had abused its market position by seeking and enforcing a patent-related injunction against Apple.

The EU Commission takes step to ensure that companies with huge patent chest do not prevent competitors from using technologies that are crucial for smartphones and tablets, the preliminary finding against Motorola may lead to formal antitrust charges.

“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,” said Joaquín Almunia, the European Union’s competition commissioner, in a statement Monday, before a news briefing on the topic.


The Motorola Mobility SEPs in question relate to the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute’s (ETSI) GPRS standard, part of the GSM standard, which is a key industry standard for mobile and wireless communications. When this standard was adopted in Europe, Motorola Mobility gave a commitment that it would license the patents which it had declared essential to the standard on FRAND terms. Nevertheless, Motorola Mobility sought an injunction against Apple in Germany on the basis of a GPRS SEP and, after the injunction was granted, went on to enforce it, even when Apple had declared that it would be willing to be bound by a determination of the FRAND royalties by the German court.

Today’s Statement of Objections sets out the Commission’s preliminary view that under the specific circumstances of this case – a previous commitment to license SEPs on FRAND terms and the agreement of Apple to accept a binding determination of the terms of a FRAND licence for SEPs by a third party – recourse to injunctions harms competition. The Commission is concerned that the threat of injunctions can distort licensing negotiations and lead to licensing terms that the licensee of the SEP would not have accepted absent this threat. This would lead to less consumer choice. “

© 2012 Sporkings. All rights reserved.
LDN.cm Publishing Limited.