Federal Trade Commission

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it was closing its investigation into Samsung’s use of standard essential patents, which investigation had “focused on Samsung’s attempts to use its SEPs to obtain exclusion orders from the [ITC] relating to certain iPhone and iPad models.”  DOJ stated that further investigation was no longer

Yesterday patent monetization entity MPHJ filed a Complaint in W.D. Tex. against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for threatening an enforcement action against MPHJ premised on MPHJ’s extensive letter campaign to accumulate license fees on its scanner patents by threatening small end-users with litigation that MPHJ allegedly did not actually intend to pursue.  We

Today, the Second Circuit will hear argument in an important case on the extent that foreign injury (reduced foreign sales and closure of foreign plants) arising from foreign RAND breaches can have remedy in the U.S. based on their impact on U.S. commerce.  The case, Lotes Co., Ltd. V. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.,

Today the Federal Trade Commission made its long-awaited announcement that it has voted to seek public comment on a proposal to conduct a Section 6(b) study of patent assertion entities and their impact on innovation and competition.  The FTC proposes this study based on requests from the public and Senators as well as the FTC’s

Late last week, the American Antitrust Institute submitted a very interesting petition to the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.  In the petition, which is titled “Request for Joint Enforcement Guidelines on the Patent Policies of Standard Setting Organizations,” the AAI urges these agencies to step up their enforcement of the antitrust laws with respect to SSOs themselves — not merely the participants in the standard-setting process.  To that end, the AAI requests that the FTC/DOJ (1) issue specific guidelines for what should be included in SSO patent policies, and (2) hold SSOs liable for not adopting procedural safeguards to prevent patent hold-up behavior.
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Back in December 2012, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice held a joint workshop to explore the impact that patent assertion entities (PAEs — or non-practicing entities/NPEs) may be having on innovation, competition, and the U.S. economy.  The FTC and DOJ invited the public to submit comments for consideration by the agencies, even extending the deadline for submission until early April.  All in all, 68 separate submissions have been received and posted on the FTC/DOJ workshop’s site.

The commenters represent a wide variety of industries and interests, and express divergent viewpoints and positions about the effects of PAE activity.  Many comments focus on the newly-reintroduced SHIELD Act.  Given that the main focus of this blog is on standard-essential patent issues, we won’t even try to give a comprehensive rundown of all of the comments — we’ll leave the focus on non-practicing entities to others.  But several of the comments do express particular concern about the interplay between PAEs, standard-setting organizations and standard-essential patents.  After the jump, we’ll discuss some of these issues that are being flagged as troublesome.


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On March 5, 2013 at 2:00pm, the Intellectual Property Owners Association is holding a webinar to discuss the potential implications that the FTC-Google consent decree may have on the world of standard-essential patents.  The webinar is taking place as part of of IPO’s weekly IP Chat Channel series.  David W. Long, a member of Dow Lohnes’s Litigation group and a co-author of The Essential Patent Blog, will be one of the webinar presenters.  Details on the webinar and information on how to register for it is after the jump.
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FTCYesterday we covered several public comments submitted to the FTC by various professional organizations and trade/industry associations surround the FTC-Google consent decree.  Today, we’re here to tackle the submissions from several large companies that chose to comment on the FTC order.  These companies include Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Research in Motion.
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FTCWe’ve finally sifted through the many public comments submitted in response to the FTC-Google consent decree and proposed order.  As we noted Monday, over two dozen individuals, companies, and organizations representing a wide range of interests submitted comments.  Later this week, we will do a post featuring the details of some of the post submitted by interested companies, such as Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Research In Motion.  But today, we are going to focus on the comments that have been submitted by other types of organizations, which include a veritable alphabet soup of interest groups, professional organizations, and industry or trade associations.
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This past Friday (Feb. 22) was the deadline for the public to submit comments to the Federal Trade Commission on the FTC’s consent decree that it entered into last month with Google and Motorola Mobility.  More than two dozen individuals, companies, and organizations chose to submit comments, and their submissions reflected a wide range of interests and opinions about issues relating to both standard-essential patent issues and Google’s search practices.

These comments may be accessed from the FTC’s web site.  In a future post, we will do a deep dive into some of the more interesting comments submitted.  In the meantime, after the jump is a list of the entities that submitted comments, along with links to their web sites: