Motorola Mobility abuses its dominant position in the E.U. by seeking and enforcing an injunction against Apple in Germany on the basis of its mobile phone standard-essential patents (SEPs), the European Commission said in a preliminary antitrust review of the case on Monday.
The Commission opened the investigation into Motorola Mobility in April 2012, about a month before Google’s acquisition of the company closed, to scrutinize whether it abuses its patents that are deemed essential to an industry standard to get a sales ban on products of the infringing party.. Such conduct may be abusive if the potential licensee is willing to enter into a licence on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, the Commission said in a news release.
Motorola Mobility has asserted a standard-essential patent against Apple in Germany that relates to the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute’s (ETSI) GPRS standard, a key industry standard for mobile and wireless communications, the Commission said.
The Google-owned company committed to license relevant patents on FRAND terms when the standard was adopted in Europe, but still it sought an injunction against Apple in Germany over a GPRS patent, the Commission said. Moreover, after the injunction was granted, Motorola went on to enforce it, even when Apple had declared that it would be willing to be bound by a determination of the FRAND royalties by the German court, the Commission said.