FTC to Sue Google Over Standard Essential Patent Abuse
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.
Apple, Google, Others Weigh In On Supreme Court Data Case
Apple and a handful of technology companies are asking the Supreme Court to carefully consider the potential adverse outcomes if law enforcement is given warrantless access to personal information, such as location data. The companies filed a brief with the Supreme Court, which will soon hear a case about how law enforcement gleaned a suspect's location by taking the data from a third party without a warrant.
Microsoft Adds PayPal 'Send Money' Tool to Skype
Microsoft today said the latest version of Skype for Android and iOS devices makes it possible to send funds to other Skype users via PayPal. Users will be able to send money through PayPal without leaving the Skype app.
Microsoft Accuses InterDigital of Antitrust Behavior
Microsoft has filed an antitrust lawsuit against InterDigital, a patent-licensing firm, for charging exorbitant rates to license standard-essential patents. The two companies have been embroiled in patent litigation for years.
Motorola Owes Microsoft $14.5 Million Over Patent Spat
An appeals court has sided with Microsoft and upheld a 2013 verdict that says Motorola has to pay Microsoft for refusing to license standard-essential patents at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rates. This particular case began in 2010, when Microsoft sued Motorola for failing to pay it patent-licensing fees for technology found in Motorola's Android smartphones.
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