Korean manufacturers have joined their Chinese counterparts in petitioning against Nokia-Microsoft deal now. The Korea Electronics Association has submitted a petition to FTC against Microsoft’s likely move to keep the local manufacturers in check on the strength of Nokia’s patents, which doesn’t make any sense however as Nokia is not selling but licensing patents to Microsoft.
The Korea Electronics Association (KEA) submitted a petition to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on March 7 with the Korea Software Industry Association, the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Korea Battery Industry Association, claiming that Microsoft is likely to keep Korean manufacturers in check by means of Nokia’s patents.
Korean companies are particularly concerned over the possibility of Nokia turning itself into a patent troll through the acquisition. Microsoft let Nokia own and use its mobile patents for 10 years from the acquisition.
This means that Nokia can exercise its patent rights at will, even without manufacturing handsets, for that period of time. “As a mobile phone maker, Nokia rarely exercised its patent rights because of its cross-licensing with Samsung Electronics, Apple and the like, but now it can launch patent lawsuits or demand an increase in royalties without any limitation,” said KEA lawyer Hwang Eun-jeong, adding, “At the same time, Microsoft can expand its mobile phone business while keeping Samsung and Apple at bay by utilizing Nokia as a sort of cannon fodder.”
China has already hold a seminar to hear the Nokia-Microsoft case. Samsung and Google have joined Chinese vendors in raising their so-called concern against Microsoft-Nokia deal. The Samsung factor and influence may be working in case of this Korean petition as well.