EU regulators receive fresh patent complaints: official

BRUSSELS Sat Dec 8, 2012 12:03am IST

Stocks

   

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU regulators are examining fresh complaints about alleged infringements of technology patents, a senior EU antitrust official said on Friday, a sign of the increasing stakes in the battle to protect intellectual property rights.

Companies are increasingly turning to the European Commission to resolve their disputes, such as Apple (AAPL.O), Samsung (005930.KS), Google (GOOG.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O).

The new complaints mean the number of cases before the EU competition watchdog have doubled to eight in just under a year. Apple and Samsung are embroiled in legal battles over their patents in some 10 countries.

"We have four other complaints, mainly related to the ICT industry," Cecilio Madero, deputy director-general for antitrust matters, told a Premier Cercle conference.

He said some of the cases were recent but did not name the companies.

Madero also pointed to the difficulties of applying antitrust rules to patent disputes. "It is easier for us to tell you what is acceptable than to define what is acceptable," he said.

The EU competition watchdog is now investigating whether Samsung's use of injunctions against Apple breached antitrust rules.

Other ongoing cases involve Google-owned phone maker Motorola Mobility, Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft has also complained about Google while Google has complained about MOSAID, a so-called patent troll which makes money by taking action over patent infringements.

Companies could be penalized up to 10 percent of their revenues if found guilty of breaching EU rules.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

Reuters Showcase

Land Ordinance

Land Ordinance

Modi says willing to make changes in land decree  Full Article 

Sahara Woes

Sahara Woes

SEBI cancels Sahara's portfolio management licence  Full Article 

Gold Demand

Gold Demand

India gold demand muted, eyes cut in import duty  Full Article 

Coffee's Hot

Coffee's Hot

IPO could value Cafe Coffee Day at $1 billion  Full Article 

Sahara Salaries

Sahara Salaries

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

DLF Fined

DLF Fined

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty  Full Article 

GM Corn

GM Corn

Monsanto says GM corn trial in final stage in India  Full Article 

Rail Budget

Rail Budget

Breakingviews - India goes back to future with $137 bln rail push  Full Article | Full Coverage 

Clean Energy

Clean Energy

India says clean energy a $160 billion opportunity over five years  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage