With the widespread patent disputes in the smartphone industry, the Federal Trade Commission is particularly concerned with the use of standards-essential patents, says chairman Jon Leibowitz. While speaking at the D10 conference last week, Leibowitz said that standards-essential patents were "an area that the commission is enormously concerned about." He went on to say that the FTC might file concerns with the International Trade Commission over the issue.

He also wasn't the only one who discussed the topic — during a different talk at the same conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that he didn't believe that companies should be able to get injunctions based off of these patents, saying that suing over them was "fundamentally wrong." Apple is no stranger to the issue — earlier this year it filed a complaint with the EU Commission claiming that Motorola was violating its obligations to license its standards-essential patents under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, in just one of the many patent disputes between the two companies.