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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RE: I think you got your wish
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 21:20 UTC in reply to "I think you got your wish"
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

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

FRAND doesn't specify a price, it doesn't even have to be cheap, it just has to be consistent.


Nope. FRAND terms are never consistent. Specifically in the wireless industry. Cross licensing and being a member of a standards body have major impact on "consistent" part.

The rest of the industry has accepted FRAND and plays by the rules.

So far, only Apple hasn't played by it.

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

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Furermore its worth noting that Motorola isn't the "FRAND" victim everyone thinks they are.

In exchange for their R&D efforts on the wireless standards, they AGREED to license their patents at FRAND rates. Again agreed. Its a bylaw of the committee they belong to.

Moto doesn't make peanuts off of their FRAND patents, every implementer of the standard must take a royalty bearing license from Motorola.

I think Google's frustration will be that they paid billions for a company that isn't currently making any amount of money (Their patent revenue cant cover their other losses) and has had its remaining useful patents rendered useless.

Most of Moto's patents to begin with were already licensed, and the few that weren't were the ones they tried to be aggressive with.

From the outset, I and others on this site said that their use of FRAND would blow up in their face and were continuously modded down into oblivion because of it.

Well what do you know.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

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.


Eh, you seem to be missing something here. The FTC has just made it abundantly clear that it does not want companies to sue for infringement of FRAND patents after the infringing party refuses to pay up. Something similar is happening in Europe with Apple and Samsung. This essentially makes them meaningless, since if a FRAND patent holder can't sue for infringement, what else is he going to do when an infringer refuses to pay up? Stomp his feet?

Edited 2013-01-03 23:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

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

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I was hoping for the current FRAND system to crumble to let the patent system explode with lawsuits - which is different from this ruling discouraging companies from participating in FRAND schemes in the future.

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


Ah, the personal insults, your go-to strategy. I was wondering when you'd bring it out again!

Reply Parent Score: 1