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Nokia says EU patent system could impede innovation

Although says patent litigation is not a bad thing
Tue Apr 30 2013, 13:20
Nokia Lumia 510 with Windows Phone 7.5

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia said today that the European Union (EU) patent system could impede innovation and competition, though it added that patent litigation is not a bad thing.

Speaking at an event in Westminster on Tuesday, Nokia's director of intellectual property Tim Frain said that he is wary about possible upcoming changes to the European patent system.

Frain said that if proposed changes to the system are made, then injunctions - rulings that usually lead to products being banned - could be granted even for weak patents, which could see a negative effect on innovation and competition in the European information technology industry. What's more, if the notion of a single European patent is passed, products could be banned across the whole EU. 

Frain said, "Proposed changes to the EU patents system will give patent owners a significant advantage.

"While the changes have the potential to be good for the industry, it also might also impede innovation and competition in the UK and Europe."

Following boastful claims about Nokia's "leading patent portfolio," Frain went on to say that the ongoing patent lawsuits in the information technology industry are not a bad thing.

"A typical smartphone includes thousands of patented inventions. In our industry, we can use patents owned by other companies, which explains the amount of litigation. This isn't a sign of market failure, it's a sign of one of the most dynamic industries in the world," Frain said.

Frain's comments seemingly defended Nokia's latest patent attack, which saw it win a court ruling regarding microphone technology used in the HTC One smartphone.

At today's event, Judge Birss - famous for having said that Samsung wasn't as cool as Apple - said that patent trolls are becoming a growing concern amongst UK businesses, adding that the number patent litigation cases is on the rise in this country. µ


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