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Apple and Samsung play happy families in EU patent trolling letter

The enemy of their enemy is their friend
Tue Feb 25 2014, 13:40
patent troll road sign

A RARE MOMENT OF UNITY has appeared amid the ongoing patents sparring between feuding smartphone giants Apple and Samsung.

The pair have joined a group of 19 companies and associations in signing an open letter to the European Union (EU) lobbying against patent trolling.

The letter proposed that a new court be set up to limit the power of technology patent licensing companies to win injunctions preventing continued sales of products implicated in patent disputes.

Bloomberg reported that, as the EU makes plans to establish a patents court, technology companies are queuing up to make sure that everything is done fairly and justly, by their own definition.

"Without this guidance, the potential exists for a court to order an injunction prohibiting the importation and sale of goods even though the patent may ultimately be found invalid," read the letter, which was also signed by Huawei and Google.

"Europe has a unique opportunity to avoid the abuses of [patent assertion entities] that reportedly cost US businesses $29bn for cases filed in 2011 alone and caused economic damage of approximately half a trillion dollars from 1990 to 2010."

This kind of temporary truce is far from unprecedented. There is a similar group lobbying the US Congress to argue for rights to recover legal fees in similar patent trolling cases.

Meanwhile there is an uneasy peace between the members of the EU consortium, with Samsung and Apple still waiting for their next day in court following failed conciliation talks, while others have formed patent sharing alliances to avoid such court cases altogether.

Other signatories to the open letter to the EU included Blackberry, Cisco, Dell, HP and Microsoft. µ


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