Motorola and AppleMotorola Mobility confirmed on Friday Apple has filed a complaint with EU anti-trust regulators over a patent dispute between the two companies. The filing requests the commission investigate whether Motorola is violating fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms regarding the company's obligation to license standard-essential patents.

On February 17, 2012, the company received a letter from the European Commission notifying it that the Commission has received a complaint against Motorola Mobility, Inc. by Apple, Inc. regarding the enforcement of MMI's standards-essential patents against Apple allegedly in breach of MMI's FRAND (fair and reasonable) commitments, Motorola Mobility said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

Motorola and Apple have been involved in a number of patent disputes across the globe. An earlier story revealed Motorola is demanding a 2.25 percent maximum royalty over the sales of the iPhone, but Apple has since refused the request as excessive. The EU Commission's involvement may be the only workable alternative to bringing the FRAND dispute to a conclusion.

Regulators are important because they "prevent companies from gouging rivals when they license patent essential to ensuring different communications devices work together," Reuters said.

Previously, the EU Commission opened up an investigation against Samsung over whether or not the Korean company broke antitrust rules by refusing to fairly license 3G wireless patents. While the development against Motorola is only a filing, a similar investigation may be opened up soon by the EU Commission.

[via Reuters]