DroidForums.net is the original Verizon Android Forum! Registered Users do not see these ads. Please Register - It's Free!
Results 1 to 6 of 6
Like Tree5Likes
  • 4 Post By dgstorm
  • 1 Post By justin82

Thread: US Congress Mulls Broken Patent System; Rethinks Sales Bans on Infringing Patents

  1. Editor in Chief
    dgstorm's Avatar
    Member #
    154790
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    6,354
    Liked
    2078 times
    Phone
    Enter Current Phone Model Here
    Premium Member
    #1

    US Congress Mulls Broken Patent System; Rethinks Sales Bans on Infringing Patents


    The United States Congress may finally wade into the deep waters of the broken U.S. patent system. Yesterday, Congress began discussions regarding the ramifications of sales bans on patent infringing products, and are considering reducing/eliminating them. They are trying to determine what can be done to limit or stop rival companies from banning the importation of competitors products because they infringe on controlled patents. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Judiciary Committee Chairman, contacted representatives of the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice for the hearing. Leahy announced that the goal is to "further explore the competitive impact of ITC exclusion orders and whether more needs to be done to ensure consumers are not the victims of the tech patent wars."

    Don't get too excited yet though. At first, this may not make much of a difference for Google and it's OEMs, and in fact may hurt them. It's ironic really, but the reason why Congress is looking at this isn't because of the oppressive legal nature of Apple and Microsoft, but is actually because Motorola is attempting to ban the sales of the XBOX 360 and the iPhone because they infringe upon some of Motorola's FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms) patents. In his statement, Leahy specifically identifies the Xbox and iPhone. The hearing was called while the ITC is currently deciding whether to stop imports of these products because of standards-essential patents owned by the Google-owned Motorola Mobility.

    The difference between Motorola's import sales ban request at the ITC against Apple and Microsoft, and the import sales bans that Apple is levying against Samsung is that the patents that Samsung is supposedly infringing are non-industry-standard patents. The patents that Motorola is calling Apple and Microsoft out on are FRAND or standards-essential patents (SEP). There are loose terms defined for SEP that basically make it a requirement for companies to allow use for and/or license with fees their SEP patents, but the problem is that a FRAND/SEP patent compared to a non-industry-standard patent has not been properly defined. In this instance, Motorola required Microsoft to pay royalties of 2.25 percent of the retail price of each Xbox 360 to use Motorola's WiFi and video streaming patents. Normally a company will instead apply that percentage to the portion/part of the device that uses the infringing technologies. Microsoft scoffed at this and refused; now Motorola requested a sales ban on the XBOX 360.

    In fact, the FTC is currently investigating this issue now as well. Here is a quote with the details,

    The FTC has already made its position clear by filing the case of Motorola v Microsoft with the International Trade Commission, which has the power to impose the bans, while urging the ITC not to issue an injunction.

    The FTC said it was concerned that companies were trying to use the threat of a sales ban to force others who wanted to use the standard to pay higher royalty fees. That would of course be directly against the point of SEP, which is supposed to be licensed on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis so that everyone's kit can be interoperable and on the same standard.

    "Incorporating patented technologies into standards has the potential to distort competition by enabling SEP owners to negotiate high royalty rates and other favourable terms, after a standard is adopted, that they could not credibly demand beforehand," the FTC said in its filing.
    This viewpoint is valid, because tech companies must build products that comply with industry standards in order to compete, and they shouldn't have to face import bans when patent holders ask for unreasonable amounts of money.

    Still, the only reason that Motorola has taken this approach at all is because they are trying to fight back in a patent war that they didn't start. It's possible that this was a strategic move on Motorola's part designed to get this ball rolling to begin with. Maybe Motorola started making unreasonable demands on purpose in order to finally focus attention on the broken patent system, (although this is purely speculation). It also could simply have been a purely defensive move of desperation.

    Regardless if that was their intent, it could have that effect in the long run. Senator Leahy seems to be taking a reasonable point-of-view on this. Here are a couple of quotes from the Arstechnica article with his perspective,

    Leahy said a company could develop products assuming it will be able to get a license to all the relevant patents, and then "get the door slammed in your face."

    "When inventors and developers are willing to license their technologies to one another at reasonable rates, the cross-fertilization of ideas benefits us all," Leahy said. "But I am concerned that the recent trend of seeking exclusion orders from the International Trade Commission, rather than negotiating and seeking license fees, may have the opposite effect."
    He also added,

    Although the topic of the hearing was FRAND patents, Leahy said he wonders if lawmakers can also stop harassment by patent trolls, companies that don't make technology of their own but buy patents to assert in lawsuits. "People who invent should be compensated," Leahy said. "I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who buy patents."
    This seems to leave the door open a little bit to fixing everything in the future. In the mean-time, if Congress does get involved, it will probably drag things out even further and involve passing some sort of legislation to help standardize the industry and give the ITC broader scope. It doesn't look like anything will be accomplished yet to abate the legal violence of the patent wars, but at least steps are being taken in the right direction.

    Sidenote: It's almost comical that the reason the broken patent system is finally getting the attention it deserves is because of a gaming console. Fictional headline: "Broken U.S. Patent System Saved by XBOX!"

    Source: ArsTechnica and Reuters and TheRegister
  2. Super Moderator
    justin82's Avatar
    Member #
    14505
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3,614
    Liked
    455 times
    Phone
    Razr Maxx
    Premium Member
    #2
    good job! been looking forward to reading about this since you hinted about it yesterday
    dgstorm likes this.
    "The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"


    Razr maxx
  3. Super Moderator
    94lt1's Avatar
    Member #
    247267
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    SE TX
    Posts
    10,958
    Liked
    1421 times
    Phone
    DROID ULTRA MAXX
    Premium Member
    #3
    Its good that they're finally doing this.. IMHO

    DROID RAZR MAXXIMIZED!!!! PREPARE TO BE VANQUISHED!!!
    FEEL THE POWER OF DROID!!!
  4. Master Droid
    npro1464's Avatar
    Member #
    119344
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    417
    Liked
    32 times
    Phone
    Galaxy SIII
    #4
    It peeves me that the reason Congress took notice was because of the litigation against the iPhone and Xbox. Absolutely no mention of the ridiculous court ruling on the Galaxy Nexus ban. I hope they take action, but I have a feeling it will only hurt Google and Android manufacturers while helping Apple and Microsoft.
  5. Editor in Chief
    dgstorm's Avatar
    Member #
    154790
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    6,354
    Liked
    2078 times
    Phone
    Enter Current Phone Model Here
    Premium Member
    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by justin82 View Post
    good job! been looking forward to reading about this since you hinted about it yesterday
    Thanks!
  6. Droid Ninja
    johnomaz's Avatar
    Member #
    87119
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Central Valley, California
    Posts
    2,263
    Liked
    400 times
    Phone
    HTC One M8
    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by npro1464 View Post
    It peeves me that the reason Congress took notice was because of the litigation against the iPhone and Xbox. Absolutely no mention of the ridiculous court ruling on the Galaxy Nexus ban. I hope they take action, but I have a feeling it will only hurt Google and Android manufacturers while helping Apple and Microsoft.
    MS and Apple have deep pockets. It only takes buying one congressman to get the ball rolling.
    -------------------------------
    HTC One M8
    -------------------------------

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Finally, Congress is taking a look at the Patent System
    By MissionImprobable in forum Droid Forums Member News Depot
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-06-2012, 09:32 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-03-2012, 11:36 AM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-10-2012, 09:25 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-27-2011, 02:01 AM
  5. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 03-25-2010, 12:17 AM

Search tags for this page

congress mulls broken patent

,

samsung's tactic

,

the broken patent system

,

us congress bans

Click on a term to search our site for related topics.
Find us on Google+