FTC, Google settlement on Motorola patents expected soon

Hellomoto patents
Hellomoto patents

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Google could come to an agreement as soon as this week on how the search company can use its Motorola Mobility patents.

The settlement is expected to result in Google licensing these acquired patents as standard essential patents, speculates Politico.

Such a deal would give competitors like Microsoft and Apple the ability to use these industry standard patents under "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms" offered by Google.

In some cases, however, the purported agreement would allow Google to continue to block products and pursue injunctions in courts, according to the publication's unnamed sources.

The patent argument

Word of this agreement comes after federal regulators came out against a Motorola-proposed iPhone ban and had previously argued against a similar Xbox 360 import ban.

The FTC had contemplated suing Google over whether or not it was illegally attempting to block these products because of their use of industry-essential patents.

Google argued that they infringe on the patents it now owns after buying Motorola Mobility. This is despite previously calling out Microsoft and Nokia for "patent trolling."

Part of a wider FTC probe

Now expected to end in an settlement, it is part of a wider FTC antitrust investigation that alleges Google unfairly used its search algorithms to promote its own businesses over competitors.

That portion of the antitrust investigation is also expected to be settled before the end of the year.

It's only the latest entanglement between federal regulators and the search giant. In the summer, Google paid a record $22.5 million over its Safari cookies privacy violations, the largest FTC fine yet.

Via Politico

Matt Swider