Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Dec 2013 22:35 UTC, submitted by Adurbe
Legal

Joaquin Almunia's strongest language was reserved for Nokia, which is in the process of selling its devices business to Microsoft, giving rise to fears that the remaining part of Nokia will make more aggressive use of its patents portfolio.

Almunia said that the commission had dismissed the possibility that "Nokia would be tempted to behave like a patent troll" when it cleared the way for Microsoft to acquire Nokia's devices division - but warned that "if Nokia were to take illegal advantage of its patents in the future, we will open an antitrust case."

This is a real threat. The gutted Nokia still holds a considerable amount of patents, and they've already shown remarkable willingness to sue Android device makers over them. Good to know the EU is on top of it.

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Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 9th Dec 2013 22:56 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

There is something weird with this warning. Nokia already became a troll, when they attacked free VPx codec with their patents. So why didn't EU say anything? Pretending as if nothing happened and Nokia "can become a troll in the future" misses the point here and looks like empty hands waving.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by shmerl
by phoenix on Mon 9th Dec 2013 23:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

At that time, they had devices using the patents in question? Whereas now they no longer make devices that use the patents, thus making them a "non-practising entity" aka troll?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 9th Dec 2013 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Their patent attack still stands (it's just partially refuted). So now it became troll attack. As if it was acceptable before that?

Reply Score: 1

Cheaper to buy them...
by dionicio on Mon 9th Dec 2013 23:00 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

And taking them out of the hole.

With no big european phone OS in the market
this is the best route.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cheaper to buy them...
by mutantsushi on Tue 10th Dec 2013 01:51 UTC in reply to "Cheaper to buy them..."
mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

Sure, but with no big european OS, there really isn't justification/motivation for the EU in particular to do so.

On a tax basis, I'm sure their patent holdings are licenced thru a shell company e.g. in the Netherlands where 'licencing fees' are not subject to any tax... Whether by 'patent trolls' or 'practicing entities' licencing patents, patent licencing as a whole is simply a giant tax loophole in general for the whole world, the more patent licencing that goes on, the more economic activity exempted from tax, distoring things vs. those that can't avoid tax or can't as easily do so.

What exactly did the EU pay to Nokia, and did they ever get it back, or anything out of it? Some of that was to develop a european OS API/ecosystem, basically QT... Although I guess Sailfish (and Ubuntuphone) are products of that.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by mutantsushi
by mutantsushi on Tue 10th Dec 2013 01:53 UTC
mutantsushi
Member since:
2006-08-18

I wonder what the EU does expect Nokia to do with the patents though...
Is there some scope of acceptable licencing vs. non-acceptable?
What other point is there in them approving the sale of the device division without that patents,
if not for the remaining Nokia to licence those patents out?
The EU is the ones who approved the creation of a non-practicing entity.

Edited 2013-12-10 01:53 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by mutantsushi
by Fergy on Tue 10th Dec 2013 09:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by mutantsushi"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I wonder what the EU does expect Nokia to do with the patents though...
Is there some scope of acceptable licencing vs. non-acceptable?
What other point is there in them approving the sale of the device division without that patents,
if not for the remaining Nokia to licence those patents out?
The EU is the ones who approved the creation of a non-practicing entity.

Patent trolling is about stupid patents that should never have been given out.
Lets say you invent a new kind of keyboard and get a patent on it. Nobody would call you a patent troll if you want license money for everybody who uses your technology even though you or your company doesn't make keyboards.
Lets say you describe a new way of inputting text in a smartphone and you get a patent on that. Everybody would call you a patent troll if you wanted money for anyone that used that new way of inputting text.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by majipoor
by majipoor on Tue 10th Dec 2013 10:30 UTC
majipoor
Member since:
2009-01-22

"and they've already shown remarkable willingness to sue Android device makers over them"

EU warns Nokia over SEP patent abuse only: they are not involved in non-SEP patents matters and AFAIK, Nokia only sue Android devices on standards patents.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by majipoor
by majipoor on Tue 10th Dec 2013 13:26 UTC
majipoor
Member since:
2009-01-22

Thom,

Concerning patent trolls, you are going to love this one:

http://www.iam-magazine.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=f6ecc064-8a9e-4575-b...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by majipoor
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 11th Dec 2013 15:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by majipoor"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Thom,

Concerning patent trolls, you are going to love this one:

http://www.iam-magazine.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=f6ecc064-8a9e-4575-b...


The EU now has its very own state-sponsored patent troll? After all of the overblown nationalist rhetoric about how patent abuse is an exclusively-American problem - AND somehow the fault of individual US citizens to boot? I honestly can't decide if this outcome is hilarious, tragic, or poetic... or equal measures of all three.

Then again, this is France we're talking about - the country that practically invented extraterritorial internet censorship - so I guess no one should be surprised.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by majipoor
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 11th Dec 2013 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by majipoor"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

The EU now has its very own state-sponsored patent troll? After all of the overblown nationalist rhetoric about how patent abuse is an exclusively-American problem - AND somehow the fault of individual US citizens to boot? I honestly can't decide if this outcome is hilarious, tragic, or poetic... or equal measures of all three.

Then again, this is France we're talking about - the country that practically invented extraterritorial internet censorship - so I guess no one should be surprised.


A down-mod from someone too spineless to reply? Bwahahaha, I never could have predicted THAT reaction!

Probably just a singular anomaly, though. I'm certain it couldn't have any of the people here who routinely go out of their way to affect faux-amazement every time something negative about the US is mentioned... no doubt those folks will be along to express their outrage over France Brevets' actions.... any minute now (*cough*).

Reply Score: 1