Google: Are Nokia and Microsoft Colluding?
Internecine patent wars within the tech industry, and more particularly amongst its mobile and wireless participants, saw Nokia (NYSE:NOK) take issue with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) on the latter’s complaint to the European Commission that Nokia and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) had joined hands to milk money out of their patents.
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Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said Friday: “Though we have not yet seen the complaint, Google’s suggestion that Nokia and Microsoft are colluding on intellectual property rights is wrong. Both companies have their own intellectual property rights portfolios and strategies and operate independently.”
Google had complained to the European Commission that Microsoft and Nokia, in a bid to extract more patent revenues, had transferred 1,200 patents to MOSAID – an organization that takes over patent rights and then follows up with legal action to obtain compensation for alleged infringements, and referred in many circles as a ‘patent troll.’
Though the merits of the parties’ claims are still uncertain, it is true that Nokia desperately needs to, first, protect its intellectual properties, and second, earn what it can from these assets, given the dire straits it finds itself in after its loss of market share in the handset industry. To this end, it has already taken legal steps against HTC and ViewSonic for patent infringement, and more such action may follow.
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