updated 12:56 am EST, Wed January 9, 2013
Move forced by settlement-induced FTC Consent Order against Google
As expected, following the admonishment that it received from the Federal Trade Commission, Google and Motorola Mobility have moved to withdraw its complaints against Microsoft relating to the standards-essential H.264 video compression patent with US International Trade Commission. Google is seemingly obeying the terms set forth with the FTC that were made public at the end of last week.
The 10-year settlement Google reached with the FTC will require the company to fulfill prior promises to allow competitors access to standard-essential patents used in smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles without using the courts except as an absolute last resort.
Google has subsequently agreed to a Consent Order prohibiting it from seeking injunctions against willing licensees in federal court or at the International Trade Commission. Microsoft has been willing to negotiate for the rights to use the patents. Google also may not block the use of standard-essential patents it has already committed to license on FRAND terms.
Regarding the withdrawal of two of the three patents before the USITC for review, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel said that the company was "pleased that Google has finally withdrawn these claims for exclusion orders against Microsoft, and hope that it will now withdraw similar claims pending in other jurisdictions as required by the FTC Consent Order."