FTC Will Ask Federal Government To Sue Google

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is asking that the US government file an antitrust lawsuit against Google. In a staff report, the agency claims that Google demanded sales embargoes against products that use patents required to be licensed under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms.

The FTC claims that Google attempted to use those embargoes to avoiding engaging in good-faith negotiations which are legally required under FRAND.

Google has come under increased pressure from Federal authorities since its purchase of Motorola Mobility was completed earlier this year. Since that acquisition, the company has become engaged in patent lawsuits with Apple, Microsoft, and various other developers. In many of the lawsuits, it is requested that infringing products be prevented from sale in the US.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says he expects a decision regarding the FRAND investigation to be reached by the end of 2012.

The government had promised to keep an eye on FRAND issues before it approved the Google acquisition. Google has promised to seek out good-faith negotiations for its FRAND-based patents. If no agreements are reached, Google has promised to seek court relief.


Apple most recently claimed that Motorola Mobility led by Google’s efforts to slow progress has refused to reach reasonable terms with its competitors.

In the past Motorola has asked for 2.25 percent of a devices entire value for use of its patents. In modern cases a value is usually placed on the patent and then paid for based on that value.

Do you think Google will lose its FRAND argument?