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Competition, Consumer Choice at Stake in ITC Reviews of Motorola Standards-Essential Patents, Says BSA

11-Jun-2012 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 8819

WASHINGTON, DC - The Business Software Alliance (BSA) this week urged the US International Trade Commission not to issue market exclusion orders against certain gaming consoles, smartphones, tablet computers, and related technologies that use internationally recognized technology standards which Motorola says infringe on its patents, because it would have a chilling effect on competition and harm consumers, a press release by the Alliance stated.

BSA submitted public-interest comments for the ITC to consider in investigations it is conducting into complaints Motorola has lodged against Microsoft and Apple (investigation numbers 337-TA-752 and 337-TA-745, respectively).

BSA argued that if the ITC finds a violation, then issuing exclusion orders barring implicated products from entering the US market would undermine the international standards-setting process, thereby discouraging innovation, limiting consumer choice, and driving up prices.

“BSA believes all patentees should be free to exercise their intellectual property rights as they see fit. It should be their choice, for example, whether or not to submit their patented technologies to become part of internationally recognized standards,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “But if they make the choice to participate in the creation of technology standards — and in the process commit to licensing their technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms — then they should not be allowed to later circumvent that commitment by going to the ITC for an exclusion order as a way of extracting unreasonable royalties.”

“Internationally recognized technical standards play a critically important role in today’s technology-driven society,” Holleyman said. “Allowing patentees who commit to FRAND licensing to renege on such commitments would have a chilling effect on competition, and it would harm consumers.”

The Business Software Alliance is the leading global advocate for the software industry.

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