The patent wars are heating up to the maximum. Google has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission, US Department of Justice and European Commission that Microsoft and Nokia have colluded to raise cost of mobiles for the consumers. Google has also alleged in the complaint that both the companies are actively feeding patent trolls. Google is very concerned with the patent portfolio of a company named Mosaid and fears that the company in question will file law suits against companies manufacturing Android based smartphones. Mosaid got control of more than 2000 patents of Nokia last month. Google understands that some of these patents are standards-essential. It is also believed that Microsoft also handed over some of its patents to Mosaid.
Patent Trolls are also known by name of non-practicing entities. These companies do not manufacture anything of their own. Their only business is to buy patents and then sue manufacturers on charges of infringement of these patents. Faced with legal battles, the target companies agree to pay licensing fees.
Nokia, in response to Google’s complaint, has said that any charges of collusion are baseless. It said that Nokia has made significant patent divestments during the past five years and as a policy any standards-essential patents continue to remain available for licensing on reasonable and fair terms. Nokia said that it would have been appropriate if Google would have contacted it before filing the complaint for seeking clarification and saved regulatory bodies’ time and effort. However, Nokia also said that there were significant intellectual property issues with Android OS. It said that more than 40 companies have licensing arrangements with Nokia and any manufacturers who are still without valid licensing should approach Nokia and sign up for licensing.
Microsoft has also brushed aside the accusations of Google and said that it is a desperate tactic by a company which itself is facing regulators’ scrutiny for its monopoly of online search and advertising market.
This recent complaint against Microsoft and Nokia has taken the legal battles over patents to a new level. Google on its part is not sitting idle on the patent dangers to its Android OS. It has already bought Motorola Mobility along with its huge patent portfolio of 17,000 patents to protect Android. The legal issues related to mobile patents are likely to grow bigger in the coming months because Nokia has already ViewSonic, a manufacturer of Android tablets, for its patent infringement.