Motorola Mobility (MMI:US), which Google Inc. (GOOG:US) is selling to Lenovo Group Ltd., faces European Union curbs on its legal efforts to thwart Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) as antitrust regulators seek to boost competition for smartphones and tablets.
The company will get a “prohibition decision” for abusing key mobile-phone patents in its battle with the iPhone maker, Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner, told reporters in London Feb. 7. Such rulings typically include an order to modify behavior. Almunia didn’t specify whether the Google unit would face fines.
The EU is cracking down on possible patent abuses as Motorola Mobility, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US), Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) trade victories in divergent court rulings around the world on intellectual property. Almunia has said he’s targeting the “rules of the game” to prevent companies from unfairly leveraging their inventions to thwart rivals.
The EU also plans to complete a settlement of a similar case against Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung in April, Almunia said.
Nokia and HTC Settle All Patent Litigation
Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) and HTC Corp. (2498) settled all pending patent litigation, the two companies said in a joint statement Feb. 7.
HTC, based in Taoyuan City, Taiwan, will make payments to Nokia related to wireless high-speed data communication patents, according to the statement.
Paul Melin, Nokia’s chief intellectual property officer, said in the statement that the agreement will help his Espoo, Finland-based company focus on further licensing activities.
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‘Glee’ Might Be Banned in U.K. After Adverse Trademark Ruling
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA:US)’s television program “Glee” may be forced off the air in the U.K. and the sale of its DVDs and music downloads halted there in the wake of a trademark ruling in favor of a chain of comedy clubs, the BBC reported.
A High Court judge found that the television program infringed trademark belonging to Comic Enterprises Ltd.’s chain of clubs known as the Glee Club, according to the BBC.
A spokesman for the television producers told the BBC the ruling would be appealed.
NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes’ Name Change May Face Trademark Hurdle
The National Hockey League Inc.’s Phoenix Coyotes’ proposed name change may be forced into a time-out until trademark issues are settled, Arena Digest reported.
The name was to be changed to the Arizona Coyotes when the team moves to a new arena in Glendale, Arizona, according to the publication.
An Arizona resident has already registered the new name as a state trademark, Arena Digest said.
Samsung Asks Olympic Athletes to Cover Its Competitors’ Logos
Samsung Electronics Co., which is giving Olympic athletes Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphones in their bags of gift merchandise, has asked that if they use any other manufacturer’s device during the games, they cover up the logo so it’s not visible, the BrandChannel website reported.
The Korean electronics company made a similar request at the London Olympics in 2012, according to BrandChannel.
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Domain Registrar Key-Systems Is Found Liable for Infringement
A German court said an Internet domain registrar can be liable for copyright infringement by a website it registered if it’s obvious the site is used for infringement and the registrar does nothing to halt it, PCWorld reported.
The ruling, from the Regional Court of Saarbrucken, came in a case between Universal Music and Key-Systems GmbH, a domain registrar based in St. Ingbert, Germany, according to PCWorld.
The case was brought to prevent unauthorized distribution of Robin Thicke’s album “Blurred Lines,” it said.
Key-Systems reportedly argued that it merely offered a technical service. The court said the infringement offered by one of the registered websites was so obvious that the registrar was obliged to act against it, according to PCWorld.
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