Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 20:04 UTC
Legal "As was widely expected, the Federal Trade Commission announced this morning that it has reached a settlement agreement with Google, bringing the commission's antitrust investigations into the search giant to a close. Two different areas of Google's business were being explored: the way it prioritized search results, and the way that Google had sought injunctions against devices that were thought to have infringed upon standards-essential patents from Motorola." Would have loved to see the FRAND system crumble, though. Let the patent mess explode - to change the system, we need disruption, not appeasement.
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I think you got your wish
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 21:06 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Now that the FTC has defanged Google, there will be a lot less patent aggression. Not because each side came to an amicable agreement, but because Apple and Microsoft have essentially won.

Google has had its patent arsenal almost obliterated by this ruling, and has turned Motorola into a $12 billion dollar paper tiger. There is nothing that Motorola can strategically do anymore to shield Android from its impending patent destruction.

How can Google reasonably counter sue Microsoft or Apple now? This is a game changer.

At the end of the day, clear heads prevailed and the FTC finally stepped in and put the monopolistic abuse of Standard Essential Patents to rest. Today should be seen as a win for the industry as a whole, and vindication for the players that actually play the game correctly by licensing and taking licenses at FRAND rates.

It is poetic justice to see Android getting its taste of bad medicine, the blatant disregard for intellectual property was disgusting and appalling.

I'm sure, as usual, that Groklaw didn't see this coming ;) .

If you combine this, with the $1 billion verdict, and the fact that Apple's injunction requests are more likely than not to be instituted after appeal and you have a terrible situation for Google.

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You couldn't be more wrong.

This FTC settlement essentially brings an end to certain types of industry standards. The FTC has just told the industry: "don't bother with FRAND patents, because when a company just implements your patents without paying, you can't take them to court". This is a free pass to disregard FRAND patents entirely, making them, essentially, meaningless.

In other words, you won't be getting a return on your investment in complicated wireless standards. Mobile telephony was invented and implemented by many companies - chiefly Motorola and Nokia - and they paid god knows how much to get this done. The FTC has just swooped in, and made all their investments worthless, because they (the companies) no longer have any means to enforce their patents when the negotiation phase breaks down - as it has with, say, Apple and Samsung.

Now tell me - who is going to hand over their patents to a standards body under a FRAND scheme when that means everybody can just take their patents at will?

Exactly: nobody.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

FRAND doesn't specify a price, it doesn't even have to be cheap, it just has to be consistent. Something Motorola was refusing to do to Microsoft.

People have been using FRAND as advertised for years, and it was only until recently, when Google asserted SEPs that it became an issue.

The rest of the industry has accepted FRAND and plays by the rules. Your interpretation of this is primitive.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

This is what those companies were told when they signed up to be a part of the standard in the first place.

The FRAND "system" is not even a part of US law... or rather... it's only a system insofar as it's a contract and contracts are governed by each nation's laws.

Trying to claim that no one will participate in establishing standards because the legal system is, just now, actually aligning with the intentions of FRAND contracts used by international standards body is pure fearmongering nonsense.

Reply Parent Score: 4

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

"Now tell me - who is going to hand over their patents to a standards body under a FRAND scheme when that means everybody can just take their patents at will?"

This is either willful ignorance or blatant lying. No one can "just take a patent" because of today's agreement. Hell, it's become enormously difficult to get an injunction on a non-standard patent.

What we are moving towards is: you cannot prevent any one company from using a standard (a good thing) but, through the legal system, you can receive equitable remuneration for your contributions to that standard if someone refuses to pay a privately negotiated rate.

Edited 2013-01-03 22:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

If your insane logic is true (that FRAND is on the way out) then I guess you should be happy because according to your last sentence you "Would have loved to see the FRAND system crumble" and it will make the "patent mess explode".

Watching you continuously have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to patents is funny, it really is.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I think you got your wish
by linux-lover on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 21:24 in reply to "I think you got your wish"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

You must be delusional to believe software patents have any benefit to the industry or that they should even be allowed.

They only allow Google, Microsoft, Apple et al. to annihilate competitors.

Any ruling that demands license fees for software will always be bullshit.

Software is written, writing is protected by copyright.
Software is at it's core is mathematics and logic, neither of which are patentable.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Thankfully, what you think does not matter, because it runs contrast to reality.

I don't care about your philosophical views on patents, because they are largely irrelevant to this discussion. Software patents exist, and you must play by the industry rules or face the consequences.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tractor Member since:
2006-08-18

FRAND patents doesn't mean software patents. These are completely unrelated issues.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I think you got your wish
by JAlexoid on Fri 4th Jan 2013 13:53 in reply to "I think you got your wish"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Now that the FTC has defanged Google, there will be a lot less patent aggression.

Less!?!?!?!! Were you in a cave for the last 2 years? Google has not started a single patent lawsuit and got to have one only via Motorola acquisition.

This means that there will be a lot more patent battles, less FRAND based ones. But Apple is being defanged by USPTO as well and Germany is still a total mess.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Less!?!?!?!! Were you in a cave for the last 2 years? Google has not started a single patent lawsuit and got to have one only via Motorola acquisition.

This means that there will be a lot more patent battles, less FRAND based ones. But Apple is being defanged by USPTO as well and Germany is still a total mess.


Yes. Less. Google will not be able to fight back with SEPs. If there is no ability to fight back, there is no fight. Only submission.

They have been backed into a corner in general, albeit a more attractive corner that some (like Microsoft) would have wished the FTC to paint them, but a corner nonetheless.

Reply Parent Score: 2