FTC to Sue Google Over Standard Essential Patent Abuse
Nov 1, 2012, 5:14 PM by Eric M. Zeman
updated Nov 1, 2012, 7:04 PM
U.S. Federal Trade Commission staffers have recommended that the agency's commissioners sue Google over its abuse of standard essential patents. The FTC staffers believe Google and its subsidiary Motorola have violated antitrust laws by attempting to prevent competitors (specifically, Apple and Microsoft) from accessing essential patents. Patents that are deemed standard essential must be licensed at a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (or FRAND) rate. Motorola has asked Apple and Microsoft to license its patents at the rate of 2.25% of the retail price of the applicable devices. For many devices, which would cost about $15 per phone. The FTC has been investigating the issue since June, after reviewing formal complaints from Apple and Microsoft. The European Commission is also investigating Motorola's standards essential patent licensing practices. A formal announcement of the FTC suit against Google is likely to be announced after the general election scheduled for November 6.
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