Posted on 24-Mar-2005 08:34.
Filed under: News
Sendo has filed documents with the European Competition Commission relating to what the company says is the unfair exploitation of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute ("ETSI") IPR Policy by a number of intellectual property right ("IPR") owners, including Ericsson.
The filing relates to the licensing system provided for in the ETSI IPR Policy and Ericsson's anti-competitive behaviour and abuse of that system, contrary to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty.
Now Sendo claims that Ericsson is seeking to license its patents to third parties on an unfair, anti-competitive, abusive and discriminatory basis leading to the charging of excessive royalty rates, which when combined with other companies' royalties results in a cumulative excessive royalty rate. The companys goes on to say that this restricts competition and excludes new market entrants from operating effectively or at all in the GSM market.
Sendo explains that the GSM Standard, partly funded by the European Union at the expense of the European taxpayer, and the corresponding ETSI rules, define the conditions of competition in the market for GSM technology and make companies that declare patents as "essential" for the GSM standard, obligatory trading partners.
ETSI and its members agreed a licensing regime in relation to IPRs which are supposed to be essential to the GSM Standard in order to ensure that the technology in relation to the GSM Standard was made available to all parties on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Sendo believes that Ericsson and others are not operating in accordance with these requirements, which ultimately is to the detriment of consumers as competition is stifled.
The company considers that Ericsson and others are misusing ETSI and its licensing regime and in fact are operating under the cloak of a cartel between Ericsson and others whose object is to limit third party competition, and generally control and manipulate technical and commercial progress to their own ends, in a manner entirely contrary to what ETSI was seeking to achieve and contrary to the stated objectives of the European Commission.
Hugh Brogan, Sendo's Chief Executive Officer, said, "Sendo believes strongly in the principles that the members of ETSI have agreed upon. This issue affects the entire industry and the promotion of free competition can only create a healthy industry and ultimately benefit the consumer."