Today Google withdrew two patent infringement claims against Microsoft in what appears to be some of the first repercussions from the search giant's antitrust settlement with the FTC. In a filing with the International Trade Commission, Google-owned Motorola Mobility dropped its allegations against Redmond in connection with two patents related to H.264 video compression. Microsoft had defended itself against the claims by stating that Motorola wanted unreasonable royalty rates for the use of the standards-essential patents, which should have been licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
The abuse of standards-essential patents has been a particular concern of the FTC's lately. It was a major component of the settlement agreement the commission reached with Google earlier this month. As part of that agreement, Google had agreed to not seek sales bans in connection with standards patent disputes, and to drop any ongoing proceedings — including those with the ITC. The new filing still leaves one dispute in play that's not connected to standards-essential patents.
In a written statement, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel said that "We're pleased that Google has finally withdrawn these claims for exclusion orders against Microsoft, and hope that it will now withdraw similar claims pending in other jurisdictions as required by the FTC Consent Order."