EU Warns Nokia Not to Become ‘Patent Troll’


Europe’s top regulator has warned Nokia not to try to become a “patent troll,” after the Finnish company sold most of its cellphone-making business to Microsoft Corp. this year but retained its patent portfolio.

In a speech in Paris on Monday, Joaquin Almunia said that he had approved the $7.2 billion sale as not presenting problems on Microsoft’s side, but there is a danger Nokia will now attempt to “extract higher returns” from its patent portfolio, “in other words…behave like a patent troll, or, to use a more polite phrase, a patent assertion entity.”

Almunia, in charge of competition at the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, warned he would open an antitrust case against the company if it attempts to take “illegal advantage” of its patents.