Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DOJ Closes Investigations of Google's Acquisition of Motorola Mobility and Apple, Microsoft and RIM's Acquisitions of the Nortel Patents

On February 13, 2012, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division issued a statement that it is closing the investigations of Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Apple's acquisition of patents held by CPTN (formerly owned by Novell), and Apple, Microsoft, RIM and other's acquisition of the Nortel patents. DOJ believes each acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition given Apple and Microsoft's clear commitment to license its standard essential patents (SEP) on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and not seek an injunction on the SEPs. In contrast, the DOJ appears to criticize Google's unwillingness to make a clear commitment on future use of its patents. The DOJ also stated a willingness to jump into the fray to stop any anticompetitive use of SEP rights. Hopefully, the DOJ's statement and analysis will bring some order in the mobile computing patent war. I think this is welcome news for consumers (Click here for the DOJ's statement)

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