Princo v. ITC (Fed. Cir. 2010) (En banc)
On Wednesday, March 3, the Federal Circuit will sit en banc to hear the oral argument in Princo v. ITC. Two questions are presented in the appeal:
1. Whether a supposed agreement, between developers of new technology and a new product standard, to license one of the resulting patents only for use under that standard, thus foreclosing the possibility that it might be used to create a competing standard, could be held anticompetitive without (i) defining a relevant market in which the standards compete and (ii) proving that the agreement injured or was likely to injure competition in that market.
2. Whether such an agreement, even if deemed anticompetitive, would be a proper basis for invoking the doctrine of patent misuse to refuse enforcement of different patents used to practice the joint standard.
More information on the case can be found in David Ryan short article published today titled Princo v. ITC and the FTC’s Radical Analytical Framework. [File Attachment: Princo.DavidFRyan.pdf (208 KB)].
This article is intended to assist those who wish to audit Wednesday’s oral argument . . . by providing an overview of the issues for determination before the en banc Court and a discussion of how the FTC’s arguments might affect determination of those issues. Those issues and arguments are outlined in Section B, and the technical and procedural background facts are then set forth briefly in Sections C and D, respectively. Section E then discusses in summary fashion the pertinent research market in which the RJV operated, the two pertinent product markets and the two vertical licensing markets within which the effects of the challenged patent rights clearance agreements must be assessed.