German electronics firm Bury asks EU to probe Nokia patent use

FILE PHOTO: Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German electronics firm Bury has asked European Union antitrust regulators to investigate Nokia’s licensing practices on patents essential to car communications, the second such complaint after Daimler.

While companies with key patents are expected to offer these on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, the lack of clear rules on calculating license fees and terms inevitably lead to disputes when companies fail to agree on the charges.

Bury, a family-owned company with production plants in Germany, Poland and Mexico, said it had filed a complaint to the European Commission.

“Nokia refuses to license mobile components. Instead, Nokia insists on indirect licensing of the entire vehicle,” Bury said in a statement.

“Nokia does not own a vehicle-oriented standard essential patent. Therefore, Nokia cannot demand indirect licensing of the entire vehicle,” it said.

Nokia, which has a highly lucrative portfolio of patents dating from the time when it was a leading mobile phone maker, said it had started talks with carmakers and their primary suppliers in 2015.

“Nothing in Bury’s complaint changes our view on the matter,” it said in a statement. The company’s policy is to agree on licenses that cover internet connected cars and not the individual component.

The Commission confirmed receipt of Bury’s complaint and said it would assess it.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jan Harvey

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