FTC to ITC: Limit Use of Import Bans, Please
The Federal Trade Commission has suggested to the U.S. International Trade Commission that it limit the use of standards essential patents to block product imports. The recommendation comes as the FTC eyes cases brought against Microsoft and Apple by Motorola (now part of Google). The FTC believes that import bans may hurt competition in the industry. Smartphone companies are in the middle of a protracted war over intellectual property, with lawsuits pending or proceeding between players such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Microsoft, RIM, HTC, and others. Litigants often ask the ITC to ban competitors from importing products that they believe infringe on their patents. Last month, the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE were held up at the border thanks to an ITC-levied exclusion order. The phones' wait at the border forced Sprint to delay the launch of the EVO 4G LTE, and AT&T was left without One X inventory to sell for several weeks.
ITC to Investigate 8 Phone Makers Over Patent Claims
The U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate a complaint from Creative Technology / Creative Labs that accuses eight different smartphone makers of infringing on patents.
ITC Agrees to Review Qualcomm's Complaints Against Apple
The International Trade Commission today said it will investigate claims made by Qualcomm that Apple is infringing on its patents. Specifically, Qualcomm says the processor and baseband in the iPhone 7 are violating its patented technology.
Microsoft Avoids Import Ban in InterDigital Case
Microsoft escaped what could have been a harmful ban on its devices as the U.S. International Trade Commission decided not to block the import of Microsoft's smartphones into the U.S.
Microsoft Loses Patent Case to InterDigital
The International Trade Commission today ruled Microsoft improperly used two InterDigital wireless patents without permission. The ruling judge said "it would not be against the public interest to ban the Microsoft [phones] from import into the United States." Patent-related complaints are often taken to the ITC, which has the power to enact such bans.
Not Sure I Agree.
This valiant effort by the FTC seems rather sidestepping. I'm not entirely sure this will solve. I look at it as more of a bandaid and overlooking the issue at hand. While I respect what may or may not be valid points on the part of patent holders, I feel the FTC should focus more on pressuring the patent office to review patents and decide what is relevant to retaining intellectual property vs a common standard in which the whole basis of technology benefits from said operations. Let the holders have first crack at what part of the operation would most benefit themselves and forfeit the rest for standard adoption.
Apple is the worst abuser