Thursday, May 24, 2012

(BN) Huawei Files Antitrust Complaint With EU Over InterDigital License Refusal

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

Huawei Files Antitrust Complaint With EU Over InterDigital

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co., China's largest phone-equipment maker, filed an antitrust complaint with European Union regulators that accuses InterDigital Inc. of refusing to license key wireless patents.

Huawei alleges that InterDigital is abusing a dominant position for 3G technology patents agreed as industry standards and has made "unreasonable and discriminatory demands" on license fees, said Roland Sladek, a spokesman for Huawei in Shenzhen, China. Huawei filed the complaint yesterday because there was "no foreseeable resolution" to talks on the fees, it said in a statement today.

"Such inflated demands from InterDigital could penalize European consumers" if they had to pay more for mobile phones and other products, Sladek said.

Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are being probed by the European Commission over whether they violated agreements to license standards-essential patents to other mobile-phone manufacturers on fair terms. The EU probe into Motorola Mobility followed complaints from Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. this year.

Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the European Commission in Brussels, said regulators had received the complaint and "will examine it."

1,300 Patents

InterDigital, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, didn't immediately respond to an e-mail and a call seeking comment before normal U.S. business hours.

InterDigital, the owner of about 1,300 U.S. patents related to mobile phones, last year filed a case with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, alleging that Huawei, Nokia Oyj, ZTE Corp. and LG Electronics Inc. infringed patents related to so-called third-generation wireless technology. It has also sued the companies in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, making the same allegations.

In January, InterDigital said it concluded a review on a potential sale without finding a buyer for the company and has instead decided to focus on patent sales and licensing. The company has said its patents were deeper and stronger than those that Nortel Networks Corp. auctioned for $4.5 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at .

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at .

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