Google/FTC deal will affect future technology patent disputes

FTC says the settlement creates a “template” for other standard essential patent holders

Last week, Google Inc. and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement that put an end to the FTC’s antitrust investigation of the technology giant. Part of the agreement dealt with how Google can use its patents—provisions that may have an effect on other technology patent holders and licensees.

The FTC accused Google of failing to license its standard essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Standard essential patents are patents held on inventions that must be used to conform to certain industry standards. As part of the settlement, Google will drop some of its claims for injunctive relief in patent disputes with competitors and accept the judgment of the court for any payment disputes that crop up.

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