updated 07:47 pm EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Amicus curae letter filed notes government attention, ITC responsibility
An an unusual show of solidarity, leaders of the US Congress intellectual property and antitrust subcommittees submitted a letter to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) reiterating the prior request that "the Commission carefully assess the substantial public interest considerations that exist with regards to this and other cases at the ITC in which SEPs are at issue."
The letter takes no position on the Apple versus Samsung matter before the ITC, but does note that the federal government is taking note of the issue and watching events develop. The Chairman of the ITC is reminded in the letter of the obligations of standards-essential patents have responsibilities to "seek reasonable royalties" and will "not pursue a court order or exclusion order to prevent the imp oration or sale of an implementer's product."
Emphasis in the letter is made on preventing the use of standards-essential patents as "a weapon to block others from distributing products that implement key standards." The timing of the letter is notable, as it comes just days away from the May 31 ITC ruling between Apple and Samsung.