Google Complains about Alleged Anti-Competitive Actions of Microsoft and Nokia
The giant corporations of the technology world are clashing over so-called “patent trolls” — companies that buy up patents that they didn't create and that they don't plan to use themselves — in order to receive licensing fees and royalties. Google recently complained to regulators in the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, accusing Microsoft and Nokia of colluding with patent trolls in order to discourage device makers from using Android, the operating system that Google uses in its mobile devices. Microsoft and Nokia both use Windows as the operating system on their phones.
Google hasn't filed lawsuits against Microsoft and Nokia, but has submitted to documents European and U.S. regulators to make regulators aware of what it considers Microsoft’s and Nokia’s anti-competitive actions. According to Cnet, Google’s intent was “to preempt Microsoft and Nokia from using proxies to wage patent wars against companies that might otherwise use Android.”
One of the alleged patent trolls is a Canadian company, Mosaid, which bought 2,000 patents and patent applications from Nokia last year. According to the Associated Press, those patents could earn $3 billion in licensing fees over the next ten years. The three companies will split that revenue, with Mosaid keeping one-third and the rest going to Microsoft and Nokia.
Dragging another technology giant into the fray, Mosaid sued Apple for patent infringement last March. According to Cnet, though, “it's unclear if [Mosaid] has targeted any companies that use Android,” which is Google’s chief concern. Google, meanwhile, recently acquired 17,000 mobile patents by buying Motorola for $12.5 billion.
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Tags: Antitrust, Intellectual Property