Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Withdraws Patent Claims Against Microsoft

Google today filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission to terminate its attempt to stop Microsoft from using video-compression technology on the Xbox.

patent_office_sealMicrosoft wants to license two standards-essential patents for H.264 that Google controls, now that it owns Motorola — but not on Google’s proposed royalty terms.

This is exactly what the U.S. Federal Trade Commission had sought to stop in its recently proposed consent order on Google, which said Google had to license patents used in standards to willing parties.

However, the FTC settlement announcement had been oddly unclear about whether existing cases would have to be dropped.

Now it seems that issue has worked itself out.

However, Google is still contesting Microsoft over one patent in the ITC case that is not part of an industry standard.

Google is also still fighting Microsoft over SEP injunctions in pending lawsuits in Washington state and Germany. Today’s filing explicitly does not apply to other ongoing cases.

Google had previously dropped an ITC complaint against Apple over seven Motorola patents in October. We’ve contacted Apple, but have not heard back about any further developments.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today came out with a policy statement on SEPs that, by some people’s reading, appears to be stricter than what the FTC and Google agreed upon.

Motion to Terminate re H.264 Patents by

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald