After Chinese OEMs complained of potential patent abuse, a Korean trade association has raised the same issue, reports BusinessKorea.
Korea Electronics Association (KEA) submitted a petition to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on March 7 with the Korea Software Industry Association, the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Korea Battery Industry Association, claiming that Microsoft is likely to keep Korean manufacturers in check by means of Nokia’s patents.
Korean companies are particularly concerned over the possibility of Nokia turning itself into a patent troll through the acquisition because the deal would turn Nokia into a non-practicing entity they would be free to enforce patent cases without any possibility of retaliation.
“As a mobile phone maker, Nokia rarely exercised its patent rights because of its cross-licensing with Samsung Electronics, Apple and the like, but now it can launch patent lawsuits or demand an increase in royalties without any limitation,” said KEA lawyer Hwang Eun-jeong, adding, “At the same time, Microsoft can expand its mobile phone business while keeping Samsung and Apple at bay by utilizing Nokia as a sort of cannon fodder.”
“The FTC needs to look deeply into the possible impact from the acquisition,” the KEA explained, continuing, “We also suggested an approval on condition of Microsoft’s acquisition of not only the business unit but also its patents.”
The deal has already won approvals in the US and Europe in December 2013. The FTC is carrying out the examination in Korea.