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Motorola Mobility Open to Resolving Microsoft Patent Dispute

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. said it is open to resolving its patent-licensing dispute with Microsoft Corp. in a “mutually beneficial manner” after Microsoft filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission.

Microsoft’s filing, and a related blog post, were “simply tactics in the patent battle that Microsoft initiated with surprise infringement actions against Motorola Mobility in October 2010,” Gemma Goatly, a spokeswoman for Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility, said in an e-mailed statement.

The European Commission said yesterday that it received complaints from Microsoft concerning Motorola Mobility and Google Inc. Microsoft said the actions were in response to attempts by Motorola to block sales of personal computers and game consoles that run its software.

“We just received the complaint and we are looking into this,” Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition chief told reporters today in Brussels. “These patent issues are very important.”

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, said Google, which is buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, was included in the complaint because it hadn’t committed to change Motorola Mobility’s policies.

“Microsoft has touted the value of patent licensing for its own patents, but a fair resolution requires that Microsoft also recognize the value of the Motorola Mobility patents it is using,” Goatly said.

Samsung, Apple

Motorola Mobility, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. are involved in numerous patent lawsuits in Europe as demand for smartphones and tablets soar.

Apple has filed a patent-licensing complaint against Motorola Mobility with the European Commission. The commission is also probing Samsung over whether it broke licensing commitments.

Whether Microsoft’s filing is grouped together with Apple’s for consideration by EU antitrust officials depends on the “substance of each one of the complaints,” Almunia said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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