U.S. Gov't Reportedly on the Verge of Suing Google Over Smartphone Patents
November 2, 2012 8:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
In addition to being attacked by rivals, Google may now face the wrath of the U.S. government
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) has reportedly authored a report suggesting that the U.S. Department of Justice sue Google over its use of smartphone patents in litigation,
Google has been indirectly sued
, Inc. (
), via its subsidiary Motorola Mobility. Those companies assert Google has stolen their patented technologies.
The Android operating system maker has responded by leveling similar accusations against Apple and Microsoft and
suing both of them
. The issue, according the the FTC, is that most of Google's patents (via subsidiary Motorola Mobility) were wireless and video codec patents developed as part of industry standards. Certain laws and regulations exist that typically prevent such patents --
known as "fair reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) patents
-- from being used in litigation.
In other words, Google may want to defend itself with those patents, but in doing so it may be breaking U.S. laws.
months of investigation
, the formal decision of the five-member government panel will likely land before the end of the year; FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz promised that back in September. The possible outcomes include dropping the case, negotiating a settlement with Google, or suing Google -- as the new staff report allegedly suggests.
The U.S. government is not pleased with Google's litigation regarding FRAND patents.
[Original Image: Cayusa/Flickr; modifications: Jason Mick/DailyTech]
Google commented to
, "We take our commitments to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms very seriously."
As the nation's eighth largest company by market value and with dominant positions in the smartphone operating system, email, maps, and search markets, it's perhaps inevitable that Google would run afoul of antitrust regulators. This is actually Google's second run-in with the FTC this year; in August
it settled to the tune of $22.5M USD
a suit regarding overriding privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser.
2011 grilling by the U.S. Senate
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
resulted in Google
paying a settlement of $500M USD
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RE: What about Apple
11/3/2012 1:29:30 PM
Welcome to business on planet Earth. Companies build of the ideas that work from other companies. It's been that way since the dawn of civilization. If not, we would have one car company, Ford. You cant own an entire industry becasue you made a breakthrough product. If that was the case, there would be one smartphone maker - Palm, becasue they did it first.
All companies do that and always have. It's perfectly fine. The only wrong thing going on here is Apple acting as if they are above it all. They copy as much if not more than the companies they claim copy from them.
RE: What about Apple
11/4/2012 5:01:20 PM
You mean Mercedes. There would be no Ford.
RE: What about Apple
11/5/2012 3:17:40 PM
Ford made the car affordable using mass production techniques. That was his biggest innovation. Mercedes sold the first practical car.
Although Mercedes would still be pulled by horses if it wasn't for Nikolaus Otto.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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