Senate Holds Hearing on "Standards Essential Patents"

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Jul 11, 2012 10:23 AM EDT
ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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If you've been following the ongoing mobile operating system wars between companies like Motorola Mobility, Apple, Google and Samsung, you may be interested in a key hearing in the U.S. Senate today. The results could impact not only these companies, but every user of technology.

As you probably know, the biggest hammer a patent owner can wield is to prevent a competitor from selling a product. But the US courts haven't been favorable to this approach since a key Supreme Court ruling in 2006, leading companies to seek an alternate route to a similar result: a judgment by the International Trade Commission (ITC), barring the competitor from importing any product into the U.S. that infringes on the patent. If that patent is essential for implementing a standard that is, in turn, essential to performing the device's function, then you've effectively barred its competitor from being a competitor at all - at least in the U.S.

Whether or not this should be permitted will be the subject of a hearing before a Senate committee today.

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It seemed like a positive developent,,, jhansonxi 6 455 Jul 11, 2012 7:33 PM

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