Microsoft Files EU Complaint Against Motorola/Google
Microsoft has filed a competition complaint against Motorola Mobility and Google with the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union. In a (once revised) blog post, Dave Heiner, a Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel, said the step was necessary “because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products.” As The Seattle Times explains: “Microsoft's complaint is the latest move in an ongoing, global battle among tech companies over patents,” adding: “Apple, too, has filed a complaint against Motorola Mobility over the same issue.”
The move, however, is more salient in the context of Google winning approval from the EU and United States in its bid to acquire Motorola Mobility. Both Microsoft and Apple are arguing that Motorola is not adhering to agreements to license its patents under reasonable terms, as The Seattle Times notes. “The central issue,” it writes, “is over something called ‘standard essential patents’ (SEP) -- patents owned by private companies that involve technologies that have become standard use in the industry.” Companies that hold such patents agree, as part of joining international standards groups, to license them under "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms.