European Commission warns Google and Samsung on ‘patent abuse’

Google Samsung Patent Abuse

The European Commission is once again cracking down on two of the biggest technology firms on the planet for patent abuse. The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Google’s Motorola Mobility received a warning from the Commission after it refused to grant technology licenses to Apple, and then proceeded to sue Apple for patent infringement when the company used the licenses anyway. Samsung also settled a separate case in which it attempted to use patents to block an Apple phone from entering the market.

“We are trying to strike the right balance,” said the Commission’s Joaquin Almunia. “The Motorola case set up the framework we think should be followed.”

The Commission has decided that if any company is willing to pay “fair and reasonable terms” for use of a patent in the future, the holder must agree. Rather than immediately attempting to block competition, those fair terms will be submitted to arbitration when companies have disagreements.

Neither Google nor Samsung were forced to pay a fine, however Samsung agreed not to seek injunctions against competitors for five years in Europe, submitting any disagreements to the Commission before filing suit.

“I welcome Samsung’s commitment to resolve disputes on standard essential patents without having recourse to injunctions in a way that could harm competition,” added Almunia.

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