Microsoft Accuses Google of Unfair Patent Licensing in EU

Lora Bentley

It was inevitable given the fierce competition in the mobile phone industry. Microsoft filed a complaint with the European Commission this week, accusing Motorola Mobility and Google of overcharging for patent licenses. According to The New York Times, the company took the step because "Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, Xbox game console and other [Microsoft] products."


The move comes after regulators in the U.S. and the EU granted approval for the search giant to acquire Motorola, but also advised Google they would be watching to make sure patents essential to the mobile telecommunications are licensed fairly. And clearly, Microsoft and Google have different ideas about what "fair pricing" looks like.


A Google spokesperson couldn't comment on the complaint, according to the NYT, but called Microsoft on its apparent hypocrisy in the matter. Al Verney said:

[I]t's consistent with the way they use the regulatory process to attack competitors. It's particularly ironic, given their track record in this area

Because so many patents are used to create a single mobile device, Rutgers University law professor Michael Carrier said the patent war "will continue to rage" and that regulatory agencies around the world will be forced to address the issue.

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