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In addition to being attacked by rivals, Google may now face the wrath of the U.S. government

The 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, according to Reuters.

Google has been indirectly sued by Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), 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.

After 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.

FRAND patents are for friends
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 Reuters, "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.

A 2011 grilling by the U.S. Senate and later the U.S. Food and Drug Administration resulted in Google paying a settlement of $500M USD.

Source: Reuters



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RE: You guys are so funny
By spaced_ on 11/4/2012 9:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
This is the whole problem.

Both are gigantic companies. They have neither soul, nor emotions. Neither would exist without humans behind the scenes. Their actions are guided by people behind the company.

Both of these companies and every other company possess cultures that morph and change over time based on who works there and has influence and power within the company. They are publicly owned entities designed to make money, regardless of the original intentions of the founders.

Why you or anyone else, might worship these companies is beyond me.

At least the marketers/advertisers are doing their jobs well. So many suckers ;)

By the way you may not have noticed. This article pretty much is bagging out Google.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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