“Google Inc. should be sued by the Federal Trade Commission for trying to block competitors’ access to key smartphone-technology patents in violation of antitrust law, the agency’s staff told commissioners in a formal recommendation, according to four people familiar with the matter,” Sara Forden reports for Bloomberg. “A majority of the agency’s five commissioners are inclined to sue, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. A final decision on the staff recommendation, made last month, isn’t likely until after the Nov. 6 presidential election, they said.”
“At issue are Google’s efforts to block U.S. imports of products made by Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. by claiming the devices, which rely on industry-standard technology, infringe patents owned by Google’s Motorola Mobility unit, the people said,” Forden reports. “Industry-standard technology helps ensure that different manufacturers’ products, such as mobile phone antennas and global-positioning system software, work together. Companies that create technology that helps develop the agreed-upon industry standard pledge to license patents for those inventions on reasonable terms.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Anything that curtails companies from abusing standards-essential patents in order to protect themselves from charges and/or delay punishments for infringing other companies’ design patents is a welcome development.
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Apple asked standards body to set rules for essential FRAND patents – February 8, 2012