FTC Speaks Out Against Import Bans, Growing Number of Patent Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is apparently fed up with the growing number of patent disputes that could lead to import bans. So much, in fact, that the FTC felt compelled to ink a five-page letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) outlining its concerns with the way things are currently handled, which have "significant implications for the public interest."

In the letter, the FTC stats that instances where companies try to block competing firms from importing their products into the U.S. could cause "substantial harm to U.S. competition, consumers, and innovation."

In a five-page letter, the FTC makes it clear it's tired of companies trying to game patent law. (Image Source: Flickr - opensourceway)

What's more, even just the "threat of a hold-up can deter innovation by increasing costs and uncertainty for other industry participants, including those engaged in inventive activity. It can also distort investment and harm consumers by breaking the connection the value of an invention and its reward -- a connection that is the cornerstone of the patent system," the FTC wrote.

In other words, the FTC seems fully aware that patent law, or at least the way it's carried out in court, is totally out of whack and working against the best interest of consumers. What set off the FTC's tirade is a potential ban on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console over standards-essential patents, in which Microsoft is accused of infringing on four Motorola owned patents.
Tags:  FTC, patents, import ban