There has been a spate of antitrust complaints to the European Commission and other antitrust authorities of late, regarding the licensing of "essential patents". In the first months of 2012 alone, the European Commission received at least five new antitrust complaints over the potentially abusive use of technology patents. These complaints are being used increasingly by alleged patent infringers as another line of defense against actions brought by patent holders in the United States and in Europe. The use of complaints in this way has vital, strategic implications for the owners of technology patent portfolios and it is a tactic that should be taken into account by plaintiffs and defendants in the on-going “patent wars”.
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