FTC urges ITC not to ban iPhone, iPad and Xbox over Google’s standard-essential patents

“Last week, Jon Leibowitz, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. antitrust authority that takes pride in ‘protecting America’s consumers since 1914,’ said at AllThingsD‘s D10 conference that his institution might file its concerns over the pursuit of injunctive relief over standard-essential patents (SEPs) with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), a U.S. trade agency with quasi-judicial powers that can order import bans on infringing products,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“On Wednesday, Bloomberg and CNET were first to report that the FTC indeed filed a statement on the public interest with the ITC, urging the latter to ‘consider the impact of [SEP] hold-up on competitive conditions and United States consumers’ in connection with its upcoming decisions on Google’s (Motorola’s) complaints against Apple and Microsoft,” Mueller reports. “In both investigations (Apple, Microsoft), there have been preliminary findings of violations, but the final decision, especially on remedies, will be made by the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the ITC.”

Mueller writes, “Google would like the world to think that all patents are the same. But they clearly aren’t. It was a crazy idea in the first place to look at SEPs as strategic nuclear weapons. The FTC’s letter clarifies that it’s not a statement on ‘whether seeking an injunction or exclusion order for [F]RAND-encumbered SEPs would violate [applicable U.S. antitrust laws].’ But Google and its lawyers should read the writing on the wall.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Why isn’t there a punishment such as revoking patent rights to companies who attempt to abuse SEP’s as a competitive tactic? Patents that would then go public domain. That would stop this kind of nonsense REAL fast. Nothing I would like more than see the rug pulled out from under the richly deserving Google.

  2. Let me get this straight. Apple has REAL patents that have been PROVEN to be violated but has to wait on it’s ban of the new Samsung products, while Samsung makes money. But Google is using using fair use patents in an illegitimate way and will be able to ban Apple products and delay Apple’s sales? I don’t get.

  3. The only thing I find confusing is that if Apple, MS or anyone else is infringing a FRAND patent, wouldn’t they already have a license in place and be paying royalties on these same patents?

    Also who determines that a patent is standards essential?

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