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Microsoft Accuses Google, Motorola of Patent Misuse in Europe

Coming just weeks after promising to be "fair and reasonable" with their licensing of industry standard patents, Microsoft is putting their new policy to the test in Europe with a complaint to regulators about Google and Motorola. The fight comes just two weeks after Google won final approval for its acquisition of Motorola from European regulators. At that time, regulators issued a warning for businesses to stop suing one another over patents. Whether Google heeds this warning is not yet known, though the company has previously indicated it still intends to retain the option to sue. This puts them at odds with Microsoft; the company's new policy includes a promise not to sue or seek injunctions to deal with patent disputes.

Microsoft's beef is that Motorola, with the tacit approval of Google, is in violation of tech industry agreements, specifically in its charging of what they deem to be unfairly high prices for access to patents as an underhanded means of gaining the advantage in the mobile devices market. Motorola denies the claims, insisting that Microsoft was offered the same terms as Motorola's other licensees, but didn't accept. Google added that Microsoft is merely trying to "use the regulatory process to attack competitors." European regulators have confirmed they are reviewing the matter, and will comment soon.