Part 2 Consents
The Commission charged that Negotiated Data Solutions LLC (N-Data) violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by engaging in unfair methods of competition. N-Data acquired patent rights originally held by National Semiconductor Corp. which were included in an IEEE industry standard for autonegotiation technology, which allows Ethernet devices made by different manufacturers to work together. Ethernet is a computer networking standard that is used in nearly every computer sold in the U.S. N-Data reneged on National Semiconductor’s commitment to charge a one-time royalty of $1000 to manufacturers or sellers of products using the IEEE standard, and demanded higher royalties from users. In a proposed consent agreement resolving the charges, the Commission proposes to order N-Data to stop enforcing the patents at issue unless N-Data has first offered a license under the original terms.