Feeds

EU competition chief threatens patent war smackdown

Tough-talking Almunia will take mobile giants to task

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

European anti-competition chief Joaquin Almunia has warned that the EU won't stand for any messing about with technology standards-related patents.

Almunia, giving a speech today at the Concurrences conference in Paris, said that he was prepared to use the EU's enforcement measures, such as fines of up to 10 per cent of a biz's global turnover, to make his point.

"Standardisation processes must be fair and transparent, so that they are not in the hands of established firms willing to impose their technologies. But it is not enough. We must also ensure that, once they hold standard essential patents, companies give effective access on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms," Almunia said.

"I am determined to use antitrust enforcement to prevent the misuse of patent rights to the detriment of a vigorous and accessible market. I have initiated investigations on this issue in several sectors and we will see the results in due time."

The EU has already announced a formal investigation of Samsung for misuse of essential patents in its European battles with Apple over smartphones and fondleslabs.

In the last few months, Google, Apple and Microsoft have all given promises to behave when it comes to standards patents, though they all seem to have left themselves a little wiggle-room.

Essential patents relate to industry standards, such as 3G for mobiles. They're supposed to be open to everyone to license relatively easily and cheaply so that new businesses can have a chance to enter the market.

"It is a major task of competition control to ensure that new generations of businesses are given a fair chance," Almunia said in his speech. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.