updated 06:36 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
Google files complaint with European Commission against rivals
Google has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Microsoft and Nokia are using patent trolls to stifle competition in the smartphone sector. The search giant hopes that the two companies will held accountable for their alleged collusion, and that it's complaint will spur others to take similar action in the coming months.
Google claims that Nokia and Microsoft transferred 1,200 patents to a group named Mosaid. Mosaid does in fact manage a number of Nokia patents, as they were transferred to the group last year. Google alleges that Mosaid is a "patent troll," or an overly litigious non-practicing entity and patent holder, and that Microsoft and Nokia only transferred patents to the group in order to stymie competition in the smartphone sector.
This collusion, Google claims, serves only to raise the cost of mobile devices for consumers. Google further contends that, by working with Mosaid, Nokia and Microsoft are side-stepping promises both companies have made with regard to ease of access to their patent libraries.
Mosaid has been growing its patent holdings for some time now, and this is not the first time it has been accused of being a patent litigation proxy for Microsoft or Nokia. In addition to Google, Mosaid has previously targeted Barnes & Noble and Apple.