The U.S. Justice Department has given Apple a thumbs up for the company’s purchase of patents from Nortel Networks. The patents, part of a large $4.5 billion pool that was purchased by a consortium of companies, including Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, RIM, EMC, and Apple, were sold by Nortel back in July.
The patents were subject to review in both the U.S. and Canadian courts. Today, Apple has the green light from the U.S. Justice Department. However, a spokesperson from the Justice Department told Reuters that:[quote][The Justice Department] would not hesitate to take enforcement action to ensure that essential patents — patents needed to ensure that devices sold by different companies are interoperable — were licensed fairly.[/quote]
The comments made by the Justice Department come at a time when a number of companies, including Apple and Microsoft, are calling for patent reform and standardization of FRAND licensing in Europe. Apple has claimed that companies like Samsung and Motorola could unfairly be raising prices and participating in anti-competitive practices when it comes to licensing standard based patents.