In a not-so-surprising development in light of the FTC-Google/Motorola settlement announced last week, Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility asked the ITC yesterday to drop its two remaining standard-essential patents from its Xbox infringement dispute with Microsoft (Inv. No. 337-TA-752).  The two patents dropped from the case — U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,980,596 and 7,162,094 — are alleged by Motorola to be essential to the ITU-T H.264 video coding standard.  Given that the only relief that the ITC may grant is of an injunctive nature (whether an exclusion order or a cease & desist order), Motorola’s action appears to be consistent with the principles set forth in the FTC settlement, in which Google and Motorola agreed to forego seeking injunctive relief for SEPs except in certain extraordinary circumstances.
Continue Reading Motorola drops remaining SEPs from Microsoft Xbox ITC action

Lost in the all of the publicity surrounding the FTC’s consent decree that ended its investigation of Google and Motorola Mobility yesterday is the fact that while the FTC’s decision not to proceed with action against Google for its search practices was unanimous, its decision to issue a complaint and order relating to Google’s enforcement of its SEPs was not — Commissioner Maureen K. Olhausen submitted a dissenting statement.  (Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch issued a separate statement, but voted in favor of issuing the complaint).  The mere fact that the decision was not unanimous isn’t that remarkable in and of itself, as the five-member Commission often reaches split decisions.  However, Commissioner Olhausen’s dissent raises some issues about the FTC’s action that warrant mentioning here.
Continue Reading A dissenting voice from the FTC/Google consent agreement

In a press conference that took place at 1pm Eastern time today, the United States Federal Trade Commission announced that it has entered into a consent decree with Google in which Google agreed to forego seeking injunctive relief as a remedy for infringement of SEPs that have been pledged to be licensed on RAND terms.  The FTC voted 4-1 in favor of the decision, with Commissioner Maureen Olhausen dissenting.
Continue Reading Google agrees to forego seeking injunctive relief for SEP infringement as part of FTC settlement