Korean electronics companies concerned over Microsoft-Nokia deal, fear patent abuse

Microsoft has a few hurdles to jump before it can finalize the acquisition of Nokia’s handset division. The biggest hurdle? Regulatory approval in China. As we reported a few days ago, Samsung and Google have expressed concern to the Chinese government over potential higher patent fees from the Microsoft-Nokia deal. Turns out Korea smartphone manufactures and the Korean government aren’t too keen on the idea either.

The Korea Electronics Association (KEA), Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, Korea Software Industry Association and the Korea Battery Industry Association all recently submitted a petition to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

The fear? That Microsoft would keep Korean phone makers inline by using Nokia’s patents. They groups claim that Nokia would turn itself into a patent troll after giving its handset division to Microsoft.

As you’ll recall, the Microsoft-Nokia deal has Microsoft acquiring Nokia’s mobile phone business. As part of the deal, Microsoft will also license Nokia’s patent portfolio for 10 years. The remaining Nokia will focus on the HERE mapping business, infrastructure through the Nokia Solutions and Networks group, and by developing and licensing its advanced technologies. Nokia retains control of its entire patent portfolio.

Nokia also can’t make mobile devices until 2016. The Korean groups fear that Nokia will become a patent troll during that time period.

Do these groups, which represent companies like Samsung and LG, have valid concerns that Nokia could abuse its patent portfolio? Or is this a Samsung proxy battle to delay the Microsoft-Nokia deal? Duke it out in the comments below.

Source: Business Korea, Via: NPU

Sam Sabri