Feeds

EC competition chief points troll-hunting guns at Nokia

Withholds fire, for now

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The EU is erecting the “troll-free zone” signs around the tech sector, with European Commission competition chief Joaquín Almunia saying the EC will guard against US-style patent trolling.

Speaking to the IP Summit 2013 in Paris, Almunia said the EC approved Microsoft's $US7.2 billion acquisition partly because it did not currently expect Nokia to undergo a troll-metamorphosis.

“Since Nokia will retain its patent portfolio, some have claimed that the sale of the unit would give the company the incentive to extract higher returns from this portfolio”, he told the summit (wire stories, such as this from AP, omit the key words “some have claimed” to cast Almunia's remarks as his own belief that Nokia will go a-trolling).

“These claims fall outside the scope of our review. When we assess a merger, we look into the possible anti-competitive impact of the company resulting from it. We cannot consider what the seller will do,” he continued.

“If Nokia were to take illegal advantage of its patents in the future, we will open an antitrust case – but I sincerely hope we will not have to.”

He added that “the claims we dismissed were that Nokia would be tempted to behave like a patent troll or – to use a more polite phrase – a patent assertion entity” (emphasis added).

While specifically excluding excluding Nokia from the list of current concerns, Almunia did note that “these are organisations whose only commercial activity consists in licensing and enforcing patents”, and that while trolling has been less in evidence in Europe than in the US, the EC will continue its watching brief.

The EC “will hold patent trolls to the same standards as any other patent holder”, Almunia said.

The mis-reporting of Almunia's remarks has already led to snipes from the other side of the Atlantic, with Forbes calling his statements about patent assertion entities “manifestly untrue”. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.