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EU Targets Motorola's Use of Essential Patents

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Apr 3, 2012, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The European Commission has opened an investigation into Motorola's patent-licensing practices after receiving complaints from both Apple and Microsoft. Apple and Microsoft allege that Motorola is not adhering to the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) principle for licensing its standards essential patents. European law says that holders of essential patents have to license them at reasonable rates. The Commission will "assess whether Motorola has abusively, and in contravention of commitments it gave to standard setting organizations, used certain of its standard essential patents to distort competition." If Motorola is found guilty by the EU, it could face fines ranging up to 10% of its annual revenue. The EU said it is looking at Motorola's present and past behavior, and for the moment Google, which is in the process of acquiring Motorola, won't be affected.

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