Google’s antitrust settlement with U.S. FTC reshapes patent disputes

“The patent injunction portion of Google’s antitrust settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week won’t mean an end to patent disputes between Google and mobile device makers, but it does take away one major threat Google has used against competitors, some patent experts said,” Grant Gross reports for PCWorld.

“Google, in the settlement announced Thursday, pledged to not seek injunctions in most patent disputes involving standards-essential technologies in the mobile and Web markets,” Gross reports. “The FTC accused Google, after its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May 2012, of reneging on commitments to offer some patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, or FRAND, terms.”

Gross reports, “Google’s commitment to stop seeking most injunctions against products it believes to be infringing its patents means the company has one less tool at its disposal in patent infringement disputes, but the disputes will continue, said David Long, an intellectual property lawyer in the Dow Lohnes law firm in Washington, D.C. The FTC settlement doesn’t prohibit Google from seeking injunctions, but requires they go through six months of negotiations and an arbitration proceeding before doing so. The settlement ‘gets rid of some of the ambiguity and risk associated with being confronted with a standards-essential patent,’ Long said. ‘Injunctive relief is off the table.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Carl H.” for the heads up.]


  1. It changes nothing. It only codifies what any judicial entity with a teaspoon of common sense would have concluded anyway: when you exchange mass adoption for fair terms, you can’t turn around and request injunctive relief. This most dramatic part of the FTC’s limp-wristed slapdown of Google is just as much of a joke as their stance on Google’s search monopoly abuse.

    1. Well it actually changes quite a lot.
      For a start it reduces the value of Google’s acquisition of Motorola by around $5B! I wonder if the shareholders have wizened up yet?
      Then, it didn’t just rearrange the furniture in SEP trials, they removed the chair legs and threw out the tables on Google’s/Samsung’s side.
      It also removed – wholesale, the argument that Apple is not a willing licensee of FRAND patents.
      It’s a pity that Apple had to spend millions to get their point across but it’s looking increasingly that it was money well spent.

      1. I agree with you fricfrac it changes a lot with the frand issues google was not suggested it was ordered to stop injunctions over frand relief. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there were actually two rulings. One on googles search practices which is the limp wrist slap everyone talks about and the hard smack down on the second ruling of injunctions over frand based patents. Basically the second ruling states that if a licensee is willing to take a frand license they can’t sue for an injunction, they have to negotiate a license for royalties only which is what they agreed to when they submitted the patent for inclusion in a standard. This is huge. No more can companies like google and samsung offer an unreasonable royalty rate like 2.4% or 2.25% of an end product price as a royalty, which no company in there right mind would accept, and then say they have done there part and sue for injunction. which is exactly what google and samsung have done. They have to negotiate for royalties only with court mediation.

  2. We’ll wait and see what the EU hits them with. They’re much less weak than the US regarding these things, they really hammered Microsoft, and I doubt they’ll let Google off lightly.

      1. US Legal system has really disappointed me regarding how they have handled everyone ripping off Apple wholesale. Don’t know if the EU can be counter on but it can’t be worse than the US.

  3. They should have never been allowed to purchase Motorola to begin with. Many warned it was patents they were after and would abuse them. Look where we are wasting tax payers money on legal crap.

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