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EU backs Apple in patent fight

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Monday, May 06, 2013 | 5/06/2013 09:09:00 pm


EU anti-trust officials say Google-owned Motorola was abusing its leading position in Germany's mobile phone market by filing a patent injunction against Apple over some core smartphone
functions.
A statement on Monday says the European Union has reached a "preliminary view" on a competition investigation opened in April 2012.
It has decided that Motorola Mobility's action "amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU anti-trust rules".
The commission says "while recourse to injunctions is a possible remedy for patent infringements, such conduct may be abusive where standard-essential patents (SEPs) are concerned and the potential licensee is willing to enter into a licence on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms."
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said, "The protection of intellectual property is a cornerstone of innovation and growth. But so is competition.
"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."
Almunia's spokesman said the row centred on "general packet radio services technology" concerned with "intermediate technologies between 2G and 3G standards" - in other words older mobile phone functioning.
In April 2013, the US International Trade Commission tossed out a Motorola Mobility patent claim that threatened to block the importation of some Apple iPhone models into the United States.
Motorola had accused Apple of infringing on patented technology that makes touch screens ignore fingers when people are holding smartphones to their ears for calls.


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