Posts by Dan O'Connor

An Analysis of the Final FTC-Motorola Settlement

Today, the FTC released its Final Order in its settlement with Motorola on the company’s use of standard essential patents (SEPs).  Although there isn’t much “here” here, as the Commission is required by law to open Consent Decrees to public comment before it finalizes them, the 25 public comments (including one from my organization) the Commission received led to…

Patent Fixes Pick up Steam in Congress

(Cross post on DisCo) What a difference a year makes in Congress.  Last year, Reps. DeFazio (D-OR) and Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act.  The bill generated some attention in the press, but never made it onto the campaign year legislative agenda. Then we hit a tipping point…

CCIA Files Comments to US Antitrust Regulators on Patent Troll Activity

(Cross-posted on DisCo) Last Friday, CCIA filed its comments to the FTC/DOJ’s Public Workshop on Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) (aka patent trolls).  Although antitrust authorities cannot fix all of the foundational problems in the patent system — such as the patent quality problem — they can certainly use their competition expertise and authority to help rein in some of the most…

Mobile-Related Patents Are Increasing: One in Four Patents Issued Last Year Pertain to the Smartphone

(Cross Post on DisCo) A few months ago, I pointed out that approximately ⅙ of all active patents (roughly 250,000) read on the smartphone.  If you estimate that each patent has 20 claims, that is 5 million potential restrictions on smartphone innovation.  With numbers that staggering, it is impossible for the patent system to function as…

Standard-Essential Patents in Context: Just a Small Piece of the Smartphone War Puzzle

(Cross-posted on DisCo) There has been a recent flurry of policy and regulatory activity related to standard-essential patents (SEPs).  First, Samsung announced it was dropping its requests for injunctions on SEPs in its ongoing patent battles with Apple.  Then, curiously, the European Commission filed a “Statement of Objections” (first round of European antitrust charges) against the Korean company for…

Why Newegg is Exceptional (And Just Saved You Money!)

(Cross posted on Project DisCo) First of all, thank you Newegg! Everybody go out and buy an extra computer monitor, TV or a bulk pack of styluses from them right now (FYI, styluses are retro cool!).  I’ll wait… Done?  Good.  Now I will explain why. As it was widely reported earlier this week, perhaps best by Joe Mullin at Ars…

Patent Bully: Steve Jobs’ Unethical Use of Patents

(Cross posted on Project DisCo) Yesterday, a sworn statement by former Palm CEO Edward Colligan became part of the public record in a civil antitrust lawsuit brought by 5 employees at major Silicon Valley tech firms.  Colligan alleged, supported by email records, that Steve Jobs contacted him and “proposed” an arrangement in which Apple and…

Helping Startups Help Themselves: Why the SHIELD Act is TRIPS Compliant

(Cross-posted on Disruptive Competition Project (DisCo)) As I have discussed before, patent trolls pose a unique threat to technology startup companies.  The limited resources and small launch windows that constrain life as a startup company make them vulnerable to patent trolls.  Trolls leverage the sheer cost of fighting a patent challenge — even if the odds of…