On 10 January, Google gave up legal action started in November 2010 in the US against Microsoft for violating patents on video compression. Motorola, which has become a Google subsidiary, obtained two answers from US justice: in April 2012, US justice confirmed the violation of its patents in Germany; and in May, US justice issued a ban on the sale of Microsoft Xbox games. The fact that Google has renounced the procedure is a result of a call to order which Google received from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), on 3 January, regarding the use it makes of standard-essential patents in the field of telecoms. Google was forced to make binding commitments on these legal injunctions against a competitor to prevent it from using the technology in question.

The telecoms regulators have laid down that if a functionality is essential to the development of the sector (in particular for 3G, 4G/LTE, GSM or video compression standards), the patent holder is under obligation to grant its competitors a licence under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Google had been refusing to do this, and had filed more complaints against other companies. The acquisition of Motorola Mobility in February 2012 allowed the Mountain View-based company to get its hands on 17,000 patents and 7,500 patents pending and to use them against its competitors. But this practice equates to an abuse of dominant position - which is why the...

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