Just days after Apple's EU antitrust complaint against Motorola Mobility came to public light, Microsoft joined the battle and levied formal competition charges against Motorola as well. Both tech giants are alleging FRAND (fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory) patent abuse claims against Motorola.
"Motorola has broken its promise," declared Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft's Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group. "Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn't seem to be willing to change course."
"In legal proceedings on both sides of the Atlantic, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft take its products off the market, or else remove their standards-based ability to play video and connect wirelessly. The only basis for these actions is that these products implement industry standards, on which Motorola claims patents. Yet when the industry adopted these standards, we all were counting on Motorola and every contributor to live up to their promises."
"If every owner of standard-essential patents behaved like Motorola," writes legal expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, "this industry would be in chaos, and grind to a halt. Just in the field of wireless telecommunications standards, there are hundreds of essential portfolios, and Motorola's assertions also include related technologies such as the H.264 video codec."
As of this writing, it isn't yet clear what the EU will do... but it increasingly appears that it will, in fact, do something. And soon.
Sources: FOSS Patents, CNET