Latest in Apple

Image credit:

EU prevents Motorola and Samsung from suing over standards-based patents

Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

The patent wars are about to cool down in Europe... a little bit, anyway. The European Commission has revealed measures that prevent both Motorola and Samsung from using lawsuits over standards-based patents as offensive weapons against competitors, rather than last-ditch options when negotiations fail. To start, the regulator has ordered Motorola to cut out any "anticompetitive" terms in patent licensing deals with Apple and other companies. Motorola is allegedly abusing its control of cellular patents by forbidding companies from contesting those patents' validity; companies and their customers shouldn't be forced to pay for licenses that might not hold up in court, the Commission says. Motorola won't pay a fine for the claimed violation since there's no precedent, but the phone maker now can't threaten a lawsuit simply because Apple wants to challenge the patents it's licensing.

Samsung, meanwhile, isn't waiting for the EU to take unilateral action. The tech giant has made an agreement with the Commission that prevents it from demanding injunctions over standards-essential patents for the next five years, matching a proposal it made in October. Samsung now has to negotiate royalty rates with any would-be licensee for up to a year. If there's still no deal after that, an arbitrator or court makes the final call.

Neither the Samsung pact nor the Motorola decision will affect European lawsuits over regular patents, including those that arguably prompted the standards-related suits in the first place. They also won't help with any related claims in the US. However, the EU's steps should have firms thinking twice before they add more legal disputes to the ever-growing pile -- and that's good news for those of us who'd rather see companies duke it out in the marketplace instead of the courtroom.

[Image credit: European Parliament, Flickr]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
Tesla suspension update helps Model S and Model X high-speed driving

Tesla suspension update helps Model S and Model X high-speed driving

View
Singapore forgoes Tesla's electric 'lifestyle' for buses

Singapore forgoes Tesla's electric 'lifestyle' for buses

View
Chicago will test Samsung's DeX in-vehicle solution in cop cars

Chicago will test Samsung's DeX in-vehicle solution in cop cars

View
Apple warns against storing its titanium credit card in leather

Apple warns against storing its titanium credit card in leather

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr