PIJIP Professor Contreras is quoted in the Reuters story that is excerpted below. Click here for the full story by Alison Frankel.
“With a single ruling this week, U.S. District Judge James Robart of Seattle federal court may have fundamentally altered the balance of power between Motorola Mobility and the leading opponents of Motorola’s soon-to-be-parent Google, Microsoft and Apple.
“In another indication that the smartphone war is shifting away from individual infringement suits, Robart granted Microsoft’s motion for a temporary restraining order, which effectively bars Motorola from acting to enforce whatever relief it is granted in an ongoing German patent case…
“… The leading authority on standard-setting patents, Jorge Contreras of American University’s Washington College of Law, told Reuters Robart’s ruling is ‘pretty astounding.’ He said he has never before seen a contract case involving standard-essential patents serve as the basis of an Anti-Suit injunction — and said that the U.S. judge’s assertion of his authority to block foreign patent actions is ‘very surprising.’ Motorola, he said, has to offer a worldwide portfolio of patents to licensees of standard-essential technology. So to say that conclude that such an offer precludes litigation over patents in the portfolio outside of the U.S. ‘seems like a significant reach….I can see this being a really important decision’.”