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Microsoft and Nokia slam Google for patent collusion claims

Alleged conspirators protest loudly
Fri Jun 01 2012, 15:20
Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone

WINDOWS PHONE PARTNERS Microsoft and Nokia have slammed Google for its claims that the two firms colluded to try to artificially raise the prices of smartphones, calling it a "desperate tactic" and a "frivolous" charge.

Google said it had filed a complaint with the European Commission (EC) claiming the two firms were creating "patent trolls" through the use of third-party firms to covertly enforce patent prices and so force other firms to raise the prices of their devices.

However, in response Microsoft raised the fact that Google itself is under scrutiny for its own tactics in the smartphone market.

"Google is complaining about patents when it won't respond to growing concerns by regulators, elected officials and judges about its abuse of standard-essential patents, and it is complaining about anti-trust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95 per cent of mobile search and advertising," they said. "This seems like a desperate tactic on their part."

Nokia also slammed Google, saying that although it had not seen the details of the complaint, it believed it was "frivolous" and a waste of the EC's time. Nokia also made a wry dig at Android over its own IP issues.

"Google's suggestion that Nokia and Microsoft are colluding on [intellectual property rights] is wrong. Both companies have their own IPR portfolios and strategies and operate independently," it said.

"We agree with Google that Android devices have significant IP infringement issues, and would welcome constructive efforts to stop unauthorised use of Nokia intellectual property."

Nokia is in the process of taking legal action against Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) as well as HTC and Viewsonic, smartphone makers that use Android, over numerous patent issues, while Microsoft is also embroiled in legal actions with firms using the operating system.

Microsoft and Nokia are currently in a partnership to promote the Windows Phone operating system, with the Finnish phone firm being the only handset maker that's betting its strategy on the success of Microsoft's mobile operating system. µ


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