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KOKapp官网下载_诺基亚和苹果专利战揭示制度弊病
本文摘要:Google and Apple are the most valuable companies in the world, and undoubted winners from the smartphone boom. 谷歌(Google)和苹果(Apple)是全球市值数一数二的两家公司,毫无疑问也是智能手机大发展的赢家。

Google and Apple are the most valuable companies in the world, and undoubted winners from the smartphone boom. 谷歌(Google)和苹果(Apple)是全球市值数一数二的两家公司,毫无疑问也是智能手机大发展的赢家。In their wake lies Nokia’s handset business, which was sold to Microsoft and later wound down.在他们身后躺着诺基亚(Nokia)的手机业务,后者被出售给微软公司(Microsoft),后来重开了。But, when it comes to defending themselves against the arsenal of patents Nokia built up in its years at the top, the US tech heavyweights want the world to view them as victims of unfair and anti-competitive behaviour.但是,在谈及对付诺基亚在其巅峰时期积累的专利库的时候,这两家美国科技巨擘期望世界将它们视作不公平和鼓吹竞争不道德的受害者。

That rather delicious irony emerged this week, as Apple filed a private antitrust suit against two companies that have acted as enforcers of Nokia’s patent portfolio. 这种极具嘲讽意味的事情再次发生在上周,苹果对代理诺基亚专利人组的两家公司驳回了反垄断私人诉讼。Apple claimed that Nokia was taking advantage of a legal system that is ripe for abuse by carving up its patent holdings and passing them on to specialist firms. 苹果声称,诺基亚将持专利切割成几块、将其移往至专业公司,是在利用一个更容易被欺诈的法律制度。In the heated rhetoric of the intellectual property industry, Nokia had become that most detested of animals: a patent troll.在知识产权领域白热化的口水仗当中,诺基亚已沦为最令人憎恨的专利流氓。

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Google took aim at the same arrangement in a complaint to European regulators four years ago. 谷歌4年前在向欧洲监管机构驳回的受理中将矛头对准了某种程度的不道德。It accused the Finnish company and Microsoft of colluding to raise smartphone prices and sidestep patent concessions that are essential to the smooth running of tech markets.它谴责诺基亚和微软公司合谋提升智能手机价格,规避科技市场稳定运转的关键——专利授权。Today, it is tempting to view all of this as a battle involving deep-pocketed companies that are more than capable of taking care of themselves. 如今,人们不会不禁将这一切视作那些财大气粗、几乎有能力照料自己的公司之间的一场战斗。

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But it has thrown a spotlight on an important question for the tech industry at large.但它也突显出整个科技行业的一个最重要问题。At issue are patent assertion entities — specialised companies set up to buy and enforce IP rights. 争议焦点是专利主张实体,即那些专门为了并购并行使知识产权而成立的公司。

According to critics, these mercenaries feel no qualms about abusing a shaky legal system to demand excessive royalties, upsetting a delicate balance in the tech world between inventors and the companies that gain from their inventions.批评者们回应,这些雇佣兵放纵地欺诈一个漏洞百出的法律体系来拒绝过低的专利费,被打乱了科技行业发明者和发明者获益公司之间的错综复杂均衡。Some aspects of the patent enforcers are more obnoxious than others. 专利行使公司的其中一些作法特别是在令人不满。In a recent study, the US Federal Trade Commission generally approved of what it termed portfolio PAEs — companies that buy large bundles of patents — as they provide a useful economic function, and more than half of them share profits with the inventors.在最近的一项研究中,美国联邦贸易委员会(FTC)基本上反对其称之为的组合式专利主张实体,即大量出售专利的公司,因为它们获取了简单的经济功能,而且其中逾半数公司与发明者共享了利润。

True, they may be more willing to resort to legal action than tech companies with industry relationships to protect, and they are set up with the expertise and risk capital to go to war. 的确,与必须考虑到确保行业关系的科技公司比起,它们有可能更加不愿无视法律行动,而且它们有充裕的专长和风险资本来发动诉讼战。But this by itself does not make them evil.但这本身并不想它们沦为魔鬼。A second, more serious question is whether PAEs engage in asymmetric warfare. 第二个更加坦率的问题是,专利主张实体否发动了不平面战争。

As off-the-shelf legal vehicles with no operating businesses of their own, they can sue without fear of a countersuit. 作为自己没任何运营业务的现成法律实体,他们可以安心驳回诉讼而不必担忧反诉。They might also act as shell companies for the original patent owners, making it harder for defendants to press for legal discovery from the companies that first won the patent rights. 它们也有可能作为专利初始所有人的壳公司,让被告方更加无以拒绝对最初夺得专利权的公司展开法律核查。These less welcome side-effects seem acceptable if they are outweighed by the benefits of outsourcing legal rights. 如果外包法律权利的收益多达这些不过于热门的副作用,那么这一点或许还可以拒绝接受,But there are other, more pernicious results that may be harder to swallow.但还有其他更加危害的结果更加无法让人拒绝接受。

One is the secrecy around some PAEs. 一是一些专利主张实体的神秘性。When the ultimate beneficiary of a legal action is hidden, it is impossible for defendants to hit back with their own legal action.当一起法律诉讼的最后受益人不具体的时候,被告方不有可能发动自己的法律诉讼不予反攻。PAEs may also resort to dubious tactics, 专利主张实体也有可能用于一些秽讨。

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such as spreading a portfolio of patents through a number of different legal entities then forcing a company such as Apple to buy multiple licences to what amounts to the same technology. 比如将一系列专利移往至许多有所不同的法律实体,然后被迫苹果等公司为本质上完全相同的技术出售多项专利。This practice is known in the industry as royalty stacking.这种作法在业内被称作专利费变换(royalty stacking)。Another valid concern is whether some companies have used PAEs to escape their obligations to maintain open industry standards. 另一个站得住脚的忧虑是,一些公司否利用专利主张实体来躲避维持对外开放行业标准的义务。

When they own patents to technology that plays a part in industry standards, companies such as Nokia accept limits on how aggressively they can enforce their rights. 当享有对行业标准有影响的技术专利时,对于其需要以多大力度行使权利,诺基亚等公司拒绝接受一定的容许。But, once the patents are held by an arm’s length company, the same restraints might not apply.但一旦专利是由一家关联公司持有人的,某种程度的容许有可能不限于。Apple’s claims would carry more weight if the company itself had not been accused of balking at the industry’s usual methods for dealing with technology standards. 如果苹果自身没被指规避业内处置技术标准的一般来说作法,它的主张将更加有分量。

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But one of Nokia’s suits charges the iPhone maker with refusing to license a set of patents used in the H.264 video compression standard, even though many other tech companies have accepted the same terms. 但诺基亚在一起诉讼中指控苹果拒绝接受向H.264视频压缩标准中用于的一系列专利缴纳专利费,即便其他许多科技公司拒绝接受了某种程度的条款。It is also questionable whether European competition regulators would race to the defence of US tech companies that have come under other scrutiny in Brussels.同时还令人批评的是,欧洲反垄断监管机构否不会意图保卫在其它问题上受到布鲁塞尔审查的美国科技公司。With the amounts at stake rising — and patent enforcers now an entrenched part of the legal landscape — a closer look at their tactics appears overdue.随着牵涉到的利益大大增大——专利行使公司如今是法律版图中根深蒂固的一部分——我们或许早该紧密注目它们的战术。


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