The patent battles among technology giants continue, this time with a stern warning from regulators in the European Union. Bloomberg reports that Motorola Mobility will receive a “prohibition decision” in connection with abuse of some mobile phone patents as it battles with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Motorola Mobility slapped with prohibition decision
Joaquin Almunia, competition commissioner of the European Union, informed the press of their decision today. In most cases, these rules require the recipient to modify its behavior in some way. The commissioner did not say if Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility would have to pay a fine in connection with the order.
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This is just the latest in a series of decisions which illustrate how serious the EU is getting in terms of cracking down on potential abuses of patents. According to Alumnia, they’re focusing on the rules in order to keep companies from unfairly using their inventions to keep competitors from thriving.
Apple protected by EU regulators
The European Commission handed down an official complaint in May against Motorola Mobility, which is currently owned by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), although Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTCPINK:LNVGY) (HKG:0992) has said it will buy it. That complaint said Motorola may be abusing its position by seeking injunctions against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in Germany using industry-essential patents.
European regulators settled with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) earlier this week in connection with its search engine business, removing the threat of fines as part of the settlement.
EU to finalize settlement with Samsung
The regulator also said they will be finalizing a settlement in connection with a similar case against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930). They expect to do that in April and said they have received some “good” proposals from the Korean company which could legally end an antitrust investigation without resulting in a fine against Samsung.
The company said in October that it would accept limits on its legal action in connection with blocking sales of certain mobile devices which use patents belonging to technology standards for five years.