Amid the ever increasing patent war among technology companies, Internet search giant Google, Inc. (GOOG: Quote) filed on Thursday an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Finish mobile maker Nokia Corp. (NOK: Quote) and software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT: Quote). Google is also intending to shared the complaint with the U.S. regulators such as the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.
Google alleges that Nokia and Microsoft are conspiring against it and other rival smartphone manufacturers that are using its Anroid software by using proxy companies to wage patent wars against them. Nokia is currently building devices based on Microsoft's Windows Phone software.
In the first quarter, Google's Android had a 56.1 percent market share of the global smartphone OS software market, while Microsoft has a miniscule 1.9 percent share, according data from Gartner, Inc.
They are alleged to be using a portfolio of smartphone patents that were transferred to proxy companies to raise the price of handsets made by rival manufacturers.
"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices," Google said in a statement.
Google claims that Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise handset prices of rivals through deals they've struck with entities such as Canadian IP licensing firm Mosaid Technologies, Inc. (MSD.TO: Quote).
Nokia and Microsoft had in September 2011 transferred about 1,200 standards-essential wireless patents and 800 wireless implementation patents to Mosaid. They are said to have struck the deal with the sole aim of gaining revenue from licensing deals or suing other smartphone makers over patent infringements. Mosaid will also receive a share of the ensuing revenues.
The complaint comes at a time when technology companies are vying with each other to garner maximum number of patents so as to generate revenues by licensing them or suing each other.
With the smartphone and tablet PC segments being among the fastest-growing markets in the technology sector, companies are using patent lawsuits as a tool to ward off competition and to garner higher market share.
There are a slew of patent wars going on In the technology sector, primarily between the makers of tablet computers as well as smartphone makers. These include technology giants such as Apple, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft, RIIM, and Motorola Mobility.
GOOG closed Thursday's regular trading session at $580.86, down $7.37 or 1.25% on a volume of 2.97 million shares, MSFT closed at $29.19, down $0.15 or 0.51% on a volume of 39.14 million shares, and NOK closed at $2.67, down $0.07 or 2.55% on a volume of 28.80 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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