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EU – Apple v. Motorola / Press release re anti-competitive use of SEP

30 Jul 2014

EU – Apple ./. Motorola, European Commission, press release regarding decision on anti-competitive use of standard essential patents by seeking and enforcing injunctions, 29 April 2014, Docket No. IP/14/489, with thanks to Bardehle Pagenberg for providing the head note and summary

The European Commission outlined, according to a press release of April 29, 2014, that seeking injunctive relief before courts is generally a legitimate remedy for holders of standard essential patents (SEP) in case of patent infringements. However, depending on the particular circumstances in which the injunction is used, such use of an injunction based on an SEP may constitute an abuse of a dominant market position prohibited by Article 102 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Here, the European Commission found that Motorola Mobility (“Motorola”) violated EU antitrust rules by both seeking and enforcing an injunction against Apple in Germany on the basis of an SEP which Motorola had committed to license on FRAND terms and where Apple had agreed to take a license and to be bound by a determination of the FRAND license fees by the relevant German court.

In particular, the European Commission found it anticompetitive that Motorola insisted, under the threat of the enforcement of an injunction, on license terms according to which Apple gives up its right to challenge the validity or infringement of Motorola’s SEP. Motorola was ordered to eliminate the negative effects resulting from the injunction.

The European Commission has not yet issued a reasoning for its decision. This reasoning is expected to be released soon.

Read the entire summary in English here.

Read the press release here.