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ZTE requests EU anti-trust investigation against Vringo

(People's Daily Online)  ??  2014-06-26 10:56

Chinese phone maker ZTE announced last Thursday that it intends to request an EU anti-trust investigation, accusing US firm Vringo Inc. of "abuse of IPR and patent assets".

ZTE's defense overseas

This will be the first time that ZTE has called for an overseas anti-trust investigation, according to the company.

Vringo Inc. was originally a patent operation company in the United States. In 2012, it bought over 500 patents and patent applications covering telecom infrastructure, internet search, and mobile technologies from Nokia at a cost of 22 million U.S. dollars, and transformed itself into a company principally engaged in patent infringement litigation.

ZTE and Vringo have a number of patent disputes around the globe. Beginning in October 2012, Vringo has sued ZTE several times in markets like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

According to ZTE, in the course of negotiations conducted by both sides in these two years, Vringo always uses threats of large-scale litigation as its bargaining chip. It presses ZTE to accept its high and unreasonable patent license prices by interfering with ZTE's normal market operations.

In the past five years, ZTE has invested over 40 billion yuan in its research and development. By the end of 2013, ZTE had filed more than 52 thousand patent applications, with 16 thousand having been granted.

Possible to initiate global anti-trust proceedings

Fu Liang, a telecom expert, pointed out that there are two types of patent exchange between technology companies. Technology companies with different patents make exchanges through negotiations, and patent companies sell their patents to technology companies.

The EU keeps a watchful eye on patent companies like Vringo, because such companies will distort fair competition in the market. At present, such cases are mainly in the Europe and EU has the right to conduct investigations. ZTE has said that it might initiate further anti-trust applications against Vringo in other countries as a follow-up.

The article is edited and translated from ?????????????? source: The Beijing News.