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)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Trade Deal

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Record High

Record High

Nifty hits record high on foreign buying, higher Asian stocks.  Full Article 

Bullish on Equities

Bullish on Equities

Bullish on Indian equities, but gains seen 'less sharp'- Goldman Sachs  Full Article 

Facebook Results

Facebook Results

Second quarter revenue increases 61 percent  Full Article 

BRICS Bank

BRICS Bank

World Bank chief welcomes new BRICS development bank.  Full Article 

Streamlining Operations

Jet Streamlines

Jet Airways chairman says looking to restructure debts, talking to bankers  Full Article 

Political Economy

Political Economy

Analysis - Watch what markets don't do as world politics turns nasty   Full Article 

Photo

Honda's India Thrust

Honda's India unit to account for 25 pct of Asia Pacific sales by March 2017 - exec   Full Article 

 Boosting Output

Boosting Output

NMDC plans to boost iron ore output by two-thirds  Full Article 

Apple Results

Apple Results

Apple margin concerns fade, focus shifts to iPhone launch  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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