European Union (EU) officials condemned Motorola for abusing its standard-essential patents in an infringement case in Germany.
According to the European Commission (EC), Motorola abused its standing in the market by attempting to use its patents to place an injunction on Apple products in Germany. EC vice president Joaquín Almunia went on to slam Motorola for using its patent in lieu of innovation.
Almunia said: "The protection of intellectual property is a cornerstone of innovation and growth. But so is competition. I think that companies should spend their time innovating and competing on the merits of the products they offer – not misusing their intellectual property rights to hold up competitors to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice."
The EC found that Motorola was using patents on common technology to try and force Apple out of the market through injunctions. Officials say that the firm failed to live up to the agreement set out under the Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) license.
Motorola has been attempting to sue Apple in Germany over the iPhone maker's use of its patents. The Google subsidiary was aiming to place injunctions on the sale of certain Apple devices in the country.
While the EU finds that Motorola's use of its patents is unfair, the government group says that its ruling doesn't affect all uses of standard-essential patents.
Union officials say that standard-essential patents can still be used by companies that feel they are being unfairly treated by competitors that are unwilling to work on a license agreement.
The EU's verdict came following a lengthy investigation, which opened in April of last year. Following the preliminary verdict, Motorola has the opportunity to request an oral hearing to justify its position. V3 contacted the company for a statement but company officials had not responded at the time of writing.
Spray-on antenna could enable seamless integration of antennas with everyday objects
Parker Solar Probe, TESS and GOLD missions will deliver exciting data, claims NASA
But deep learning pulls ahead for complex tasks
Geoengineering on the sea floor near glaciers would form a new ice shelf to prevent melting