Patents in Motion: The Troubling Implications of the N-Data Settlement

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Anne Layne-Farrar, Mar 26, 2009

A little over a year ago, in January 2008, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a settlement with Negotiated Data Solutions (“N-Data”) regarding the firm’s patent licensing practices in relation to the Ethernet standard for computer networking. That announcement has prompted a number of responses, both positive and negative, not so much because of the specifics of the case but rather because of the broader questions it raised. I highlight a few of these questions below, along with their broader policy implications.

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