FTC: sales bans in FRAND patent cases 'inappropriate', Apple vs. Motorola
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.
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