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Nokia patent troll possibility downplayed by regulators

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday December 09, 2013.

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If Nokia thought that it might be a good idea to more forcibly attempt to earn money through patent lawsuits now that it has sold its handset division to Microsoft, the idea seems less likely given that the EU has prematurely threatened to punish the company if it becomes a patent troll.

Nokia has given no indication that it has any plans to become a patent troll, a term typically reserved for companies that use their patent portfolio to excessively litigate against companies that use similar technologies in order to force a financial settlement. Nokia has been involved in patent litigation against HTC recently, but judges have so far ruled that Nokia was within reasonable rights to claim HTC should have to pay royalties for infringing upon Nokia's intellectual property.

Joaquin Almunia, vice president of the Europe Commission Competition unit, says there's no reason to believe Nokia will use that victory and its exit from the handset business to go after more companies in unfair ways. Doing so would lead to serious repercussions for the company. In response to speculation that Nokia might see patent cases as a new revenue source now that it is exiting the smartphone business, Almunia said:

"Some have claimed that the sale of the [Nokia handset] unit would give the company the incentive to extract higher returns from this portfolio...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."

source: PC Pro

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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