Nokia has labelled Google’s patent trolling complaint to the EU “frivolous” and “wrong” while Microsoft said the move was a “desperate tactic”.
Google said last night that it had filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming that Nokia and Microsoft colluded to raise mobile prices by sending out patent trolls to do their dirty work.
The Chocolate Factory said the pair had used non-manufacturing companies to pursue lawsuits that Nokia and Microsoft had promised they wouldn’t launch.
In particular, the web giant cited Nokia’s promises that it wouldn’t enforce intellectual property rights against Linux – the core of Google’s mobile operating system Android. Google also said that it wasn’t the only biz worried about the Nokia tie-up with Microsoft, mentioning Barnes Noble’s concerns as well.
The patent troll in question appears to be Mosaid, which acquired Nokia patents in 2011 and has been pursuing cases using the blueprints.
Microsoft said that the complaint was the kettle calling the pot black.
“Google is complaining about patents when it won’t respond to growing concerns by regulators, elected officials and judges about its abuse of standard-essential patents, and it is complaining about antitrust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95 per cent of mobile search and advertising,” an MS spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement today.
“This seems like a desperate tactic on their part.”
Nokia had even more to say on the complaint, stating baldly that Google was just plain wrong because the Finnish mobe maker and Redmond keep their intellectual property separate and decide independently what patent strategies to pursue.
On the subject of selling patents to non-manufacturing entities, Nokia said it will flog its gear to anyone who it wants, thank you very much.
“Nokia has made regular patent divestments over the last five years. In each case, any commitments made for standards-essential patents transfer to the acquirer and existing licences for the patents continue,” a spokesperson said.
“Had Google asked us, we would have been happy to confirm this, which could then have avoided them wasting the commission’s time and resources on such a frivolous complaint,” they added scathingly.
The competition watchdog confirmed that it had received a complaint from Google against Nokia and Microsoft, but would not give out any further details. ®