Several analysts have weighed in on how Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) can rake in boatloads of money by monetizing its patent portfolio more thoroughly. Personally, I started having alarm bells going off in my head after the first few reports, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. A regulator in the European Union is warning Nokia not to turn into a patent troll in its efforts to monetize its intellectual property. He said he hoped they wouldn’t have to open an antitrust investigation into Nokia, but they would if the company began acting like a patent troll.
European Commission warns Nokia
Today The Inquirer reports that Joaquin Almunia of the European Commission noted the suggestions that Nokia could “extract higher returns” from its patent portfolio. The regulator also warned the company that it would open an antitrust investigation if Nokia did decide to start taking “illegal advantage” from its patents in the future. Almunia did use the words “patent troll” in the comments as well
The warning was made even though technically, this falls outside the scope of their consideration about whether Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) could buy Nokia’s devices division. Regulators simply looked at competition and not what Nokia might be able to do with its patents after the deal is done.. Based on their considerations, they decided to approve the deal between Nokia and Microsoft.
Nokia already finding success in its patents
Last week Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) won a decisive victory against HTC Corp (TPE:2498) in connection with some of its patents. The company was even able to get some of HTC’s more popular handsets banned in the U.K. Included in that ban was the HTC One mini and the HTC One Max. The U.K. court ruled that HTC had infringed on Nokia’s patent for a “modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station.”
Nokia also struck a deal with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) recently to expand licensing for some of its patents.