The European Commission is once again cracking down on two of the biggest technology firms on the planet for patent abuse. The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Google’s Motorola Mobility received a warning from the Commission after it refused to grant technology licenses to Apple, and then proceeded to sue Apple for patent infringement when the company used the licenses anyway.
The European Commission said Monday that Google’s Motorola Mobility abused its market position in Europe by refusing to grant crucial technology licenses to rival Apple, then suing Apple for patent infringement when the company used them anyway. Separately, Samsung settled a case where it had tried to use its patents to block Apple from bringing a phone to market. But neither company was slapped with a fine. At a press conference, the Commission’s chief competition authority, Joaquin Almunia, said that’s because it can be difficult to determine when a company has the right to protect its patents – which drive innovation – and when a dominant company is wielding the power a patent gives them to stifle competition and harm consumers.