Nokia cries discrimination over patents

January 8, 2009 | 09:13

Tags: #fees #gsm #licence #license #patent

Companies: #nokia

Nokia is feeling cheated after learning that a patent it is forced to license has been offered to competitors under better terms – and is going all the way to the European Commission to air its grievances.

According to an article over on The Register, the Finnish mobile 'phone giant has lodged a complaint that claiming that German IPCom – current owners of a handful of patents regarding certain aspects of the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication – originally called Groupe Spécial Mobile) system originally developed by Bosch – is refusing to license the technologies under the required Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms – terms it did offer to Nokia's competitor, Samsung.

IPCom, partly owned by asset management group Fortress Investment Group, is seeking €12 billion from Nokia in order to license the patents, without which the company is unable to legally make or sell mobile 'phone equipment in Europe. Claiming discrimination, Nokia has asked the European Commission's Director General for Competition for a ruling – and it's not expected to go IPCom's way.

If the court's decision in February sides with Nokia, it could spell the death blow for IPCom and Fortress Investment Group – with the asset management firm's shares currently trading below a dollar after hitting $31 two years ago, such a ruling would likely result in a de-listing, with IPCom following suit.

Do you believe that Nokia should just stump up the readies if it wants to use IPCom's patents, or is IPCom being greedy and trying to get more money out of what it perceives as a target with deeper pockets than Samsung? Share your thoughts over in [url= forums[/url].
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