Microsoft's Nokia acquistion has sparked concerns among the associations of South Korean technological manufacturers about possible opportunities for patent abuse. As the two companies are undergoing business combination reviews in the country under supervision by the Fair Trade Commission, local manufacturers have petitioned the bureau about the possible consequences of the merger. Reportedly, they fear that Microsoft could utilize Nokia's large patent portfolio in anti-competitive practices.
This sounds quite ambiguous, as Microsoft doesn't actually own Nokia's patents - it has only licensed them for use in products. Likewise, Korean firms fear that Nokia has the ability to use MS' mobile patents to sue or demand increased royalties from Korean firms if it chooses to do so. Or in other words, to become a "patent troll". Again, this seems unjustified, as the company only has “reciprocal rights” to use Microsoft patents in its HERE services.
Earlier this year, Nokia's CTO Henry Tirri explained that after handing over its mobile business to Microsoft, the company will turn its focus to technological research, development, and patent licensing. Nokia has one of the largest communication portfolios in the industry and it's understandable that it will be looking to turn it into a revenue source. It seems that the company's new patent-centric business is making Asian manufacturers feel uneasy about its presence. However, Tirri insists that Nokia will not become a patent troll, but it will follow other licensing companies' good business practices.
Nokia's Microsoft acquisition has already been approved in the USA, Europe, and India, but it's yet to get an "yes" from Korean and Chinese authorities.