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EU: Commission to define stance on standard-essential patents soon

 |  September 15, 2013

The European Commission’s Joaquin Almunia said Friday at a conference in Italy that two investigations regarding disputes of standard-essential patents are “advanced” and could be concluded soon. The Commission’s decisions on the two cases will define the regulator’s stance on patents moving forward, reports say.

The investigations are looking into whether technology firms Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility are abusing mobile phone patents. Both companies were sent statement of objections.

The cases are part of a major power struggle between the companies, Google and Apple, which have all been trading victories as they sue each other for infringing on the so-called essential patents. Standard-essentials are patents for functions and technology necessary for a device to properly function.

According to Almunia, the Commission is cracking down on the “rules of the game” to stop such back-and-forth lawsuits and prevent companies from anticompetitively suing counterparts for infringements on essential patents.

While reports say a decision on the cases could be reached soon, Almunia assured that a date cannot be predicted at this time.

The Commission opened a probe into Samsung after the company began suing Apple within the EU in 2011 for infringements on 3G patent technology; a similar probe was launched with Motorola, which runs on Google Android software, after Microsoft and Apple issued complaints regarding smartphone patents.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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