Google patent practices against iPhone, iPad or Xbox 360 worthy of FTC lawsuit

November 2, 2012
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Google’s $12.5 billion Motorola purchase is yet to bring any positive results to the Search company. Not only isn’t Motorola profitable yet but we’re not to see any Motorola “Nexus” devices for quite a while.

Not to mention that the Motorola patent chest that Google acquired hoping it would come in handy when both defending against competitors but also attacking them in courts, is going to get the Search giant into even more trouble.

According to Bloomberg, the Federal Trade Commission is apparently on the verge of recommending a formal suit against Google for its patent-related practices. This is the second FTC probe into Google’s business, with another one investigating the company’s business practices “in search, advertising and mobile” and whether they hurt the competition.

In case you haven’t been following the Apple vs Google (Motorola) and Microsoft vs Google (Motorola) patent wars, then you should know this second FTC investigation concerns mainly these kind of lawsuits and the stance Google (Motorola) took on FRAND, or fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory patents.

When buying Motorola, Google also inherited these important patent conflicts. In either case, Google is suing and being countersued by Apple or Microsoft. And the FTC is looking into Google’s conduct regarding those FRAND patents that are used in these trials against main competitors – Google is trying to ban several products including Apple’s iPhone or iPad or Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in different countries.

The sides are yet to settle in any of these cases, with both Apple and Microsoft not appearing ready to pay licensing fees asked by Google:

Motorola Mobility had asked for royalties of 2.25 percent on the retail price of each product, which it has said was the standard opening offer it makes. It has said neither Microsoft nor Apple would negotiate.

Microsoft said in court papers the royalties would amount to $4 billion a year, a figure it would never agree to pay. Apple, in its own case, said the technology is worth, at most, $1 per unit.

A final decision whether to sue Google or not has not been made yet, and could come after the presidential election that takes place on November 6.

Bloomberg also reminds us that Samsung is investigated for similar FRAND-related matters by the Justice Department in the USA and by the European Commission in Europe.

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