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FTC: sales bans in FRAND patent cases 'inappropriate', Apple vs. Motorola
FTC comments on Apple v. Motorola, calls sales bans in FRAND patent cases 'inappropriate'
As patent battles rage across the technology landscape, companies are constantly asking courts to keep allegedly-infringing products off the market — but the FTC thinks granting those requests in some cases would be going too far. In an amicus brief filed today the FTC said it would be "inappropriate" for a court to take a product off the market when standards patents are the point of contention.
Holders of patents that have been incorporated into industry-wide standards, such as Wi-Fi or 3G technology, often agree to license said patents under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. It's meant to encourage interoperability by allowing all manner of companies to incorporate broadly-adopted technology. The threat of injunction, the brief states, could allow patent holders to intimidate other companies to pay higher-than-reasonable royalty rates — essentially defeating the purpose of FRAND in the first place.