FTC & Negotiated Data Solutions
The Federal Trade Commission on January 23, 2008 announced a complaint and proposed settlement with Negotiated Data Solutions LLC (N-Data), which allegedly violated federal law by engaging in unfair methods of competition and unfair acts or practices regarding its enforcement of certain patents against makers of equipment employing Ethernet, a computer networking standard used in nearly every computer sold in the U.S. The FTC contended that N-data refused to meet a commitment made by a former owner of the patent to license the patent covering the 'Ethernet' Standard Used in Virtually All Personal Computers in U.S.
On February 25, the FTC extended the deadline to April 24 for interested parties to file public comments.
Following the public comment period, the Commission approved the issuance of a final consent order and letters to the commenters of record. The vote approving issuance of the final order was 3-1, with Chairman William E. Kovacic voting no. On September 23 the FTC made available the final Decision and Order with substantially no changes to that proposed in January.
The FTC web site at http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0510094/index.shtm also contains the FTC response to the 16 public comments (including GTW) on the proposed consent agreement found at http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/negotiateddatasol/index.shtmLetter to Commenters State Attorneys General: The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General of California; The Honorable Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General of Connecticut; The Honorable Lawrence Wasden, Attorney General of Idaho; The Honorable Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois; The Honorable Tom Miller, Attorney General of Iowa; The Honorable Stephen Six, Attorney General of Kansas; The Honorable Steven Rowe, Attorney General of Maine;The Honorable Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts; The Honorable Jim Hood, Attorney General of Mississippi; The Honorable W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General of Oklahoma; The Honorable Hardy Myers, Attorney General of Oregon; The Honorable Patrick Lynch, Attorney General of Rhode Island;The Honorable Rob McKenna, Attorney General of Washington; and The Honorable Darrell V. McGraw, Jr., Attorney General of West Virginia
Letter to Commenter Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (Thomas Goode)
Letter to Commenter Association of Corporate Counsel (Taraneh Maghamé)Letter to Commenters American Antitrust Institute, Consumer Federation of America, and Public Patent Foundation (David Balto)
Letter to Commenter American Intellectual Property Law Association (Michael Kirk)
Letter to Commenter Dell Inc. (M. Sean Royale)
Letter to Commenter GTW Associates (George Willingmyre)
Letter to Commenter Robert Lande (Venable Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law)
Letter to Commenter Respondent Negotiated Data Solutions, LLC (Douglas Melamed and Andrew Ewalt)
Letter to Commenter Telecommunications Industry Association (Andrew Kurtzman)
Letter to Commenters VITA and VITA Standards Organization (Robert Skitol)
Letter to Commenter Voluntary Trade Council, Inc. (S. M. Oliva)