FTC formally proposes to launch Section 6(b) study on activities of patent assertion entities

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken the first formal step to launching a far-reaching study of the impact that patent assertion entities (PAEs) have on innovation and competition.

On 27 September 2013, the four commissioners unanimously voted to seek public comments on a proposal to issue compulsory process orders to some 25 PAEs and 15 other firms in the wireless communications industry, including manufacturers and others engaged in licensing. These orders would demand the production of public and non-public documents and information about the costs and benefits of PAE activities.

The much-anticipated study could then be used to inform the commission’s competition policy advocacy efforts as well as potential future enforcement actions…

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