FTC to ITC: Limit Use of Import Bans, Please
Jun 7, 2012, 1:41 PM by Eric M. Zeman
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.
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