U.S. Department of Justice is Against Most Sales Bans for Patent Infringement
January 9, 2013 6:43 PM
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Fines should be the punishment in most cases
Patent battles in court rooms are common all around the world as manufacturers in the electronics and technology industries try to squeeze all the money they can out of their intellectual property. Many of the patents that are used in these legal cases around the world are for key patents that ensure mobile and other electronic devices are able to work together. Many of these patents are required by law to be licensed at reasonable rates and are known as
The United States Department of Justice has announced that companies that own these key patents should only be able to win sales bans as a punishment for patent infringement in very rare and very specific cases. The argument by the FTC and DOJ is that infringement on "standard essential patents" should be punished with monetary damages instead of sales bans.
These essential patents have been used in courtrooms around the world like
, and HTC in an attempt to block the sales of competing products.
The statement issued jointly by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department urges the United States International Trade Commission to make public interest the key factor when deciding whether to order an injunction against an imported product that allegedly infringes on an essential patent.
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Change your caption
1/10/2013 8:02:53 AM
First, the DOJ and FTC statements are only for SEPs that come under FRAND rules. It is not all patents. Your article is almost clear enough on that, but the title is extremely misleading.
Second, what SEPs that come under FRAND rules has Apple used to sue anyone? Listing them is truly misleading -- probably intentionally so. (Don't get me wrong, I believe many of Apple's patents should never have been issued in the first place and law suits based upon those wrongly issued patents should be dismissed with prejudice, but this is very different from listing Apple with others that are trying to use SEPs that come under FRAND rules in their lawsuits.)
Finally, I believe that all organizations that have SEPs that come under FRAND rules must agree to binding arbitration. Absolutely no lawsuits allowed.
they should have a fixed, public price for licensing and anyone on the planet can license those SEPs at the same rate. This would truly support the FRAND concept.
RE: Change your caption
1/10/2013 11:05:04 AM
the DOJ and FTC statements are only for SEPs that come under FRAND rules
Apparently you didn't bother to read the actual statements.
The statements make it very clear that both bodies are against sales bans of any kind except in rare cases where the offending party is found to be wantonly belligerent in it's violation of the patent (ie, actively seeking to do damage). They then went on to specify that injunctions for FRAND patents are inappropriate, but that special monetary damages can be awarded in cases where the offending party simply refuses to accept the going rate.
The second statement will likely prove a blow to Apple who has continuously refused to license at the market rate of the patent, in most cases Apple's offers have been around 1/25th of what other licensees are currently paying. If you didn't accept, they simply flaunted the law by paying you zero and using it anyway. Since the DOJ didn't provide any guidelines for these sorts of special damages, we'll have to wait and see what this will actually mean.
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