Apparently, I’m not the only one that’s sick of the whole “Patent War” going on everywhere around the world with large phone companies suing one another for something or another. It would seem that it’s impossible for a whole week to pass by without Apple claiming that some company or another is infringing on their patents. With that in mind, the European Commission made a landmark ruling recently ( on Tuesday, to be precise ) regarding an infringement claim by Motorola against Apple, a claim which had in its vision the use of standard-essential patent it had licensed.
The Commission decreed that both smartphone and tablet manufacturers could no longer seek injunctions against the rivals with which they had signed patent licensing agreements. This step should significantly reduce patent wars within the confines of the EU. Also, in light of the numerous legal disputes with rival manufacturer Apple, the EU’s anti-trust enforcement office has also accepted an agreement from Samsung Electronics not to seek injunctions against rivals it currently licenses patents from. Another order issued by the Commission was that Motorola resolves its legal disputes with Apple outside of the courtrooms via arbitration.
Jaoquin Almunia, the European commissioner in charge of anti-trust enforcement, put it very well in saying that patent wars should not come at the expense of consumers:
“While patent holders should be fairly remunerated for the use of their intellectual property, implementers of such standards should also get access to standardized technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.”
This previous ruling sets a precedent that will likely be imposed on other manufacturers looking to pursue legal action against rivals within EU member countries. This should prove a bit of an obstacle for companies like Samsung or Apple, the two currently suing each other in more than 10 countries, from further widespread litigation – at least in the confines of the EU.