Google drops patents claims against Microsoft

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Google's practice of suing to block its competitors' ability to use standard technologies raised the concern of the Federal Trade Commission, which pressured Google to sign a legal order last week restricting its ability to sue over standard-essential patents. 

The Justice Department and the Patent and Trademark Office issued a policy statement on Tuesday, warning that legal battles over standard patents can stifle competition and hurt consumers. The agencies said companies should only be able to sue over standard patents in limited circumstances.

Google acquired the patents, which cover video technology used in Microsoft's popular Xbox gaming system, when it bought Motorola Mobility.

Google still has other pending lawsuits against Microsoft over other nonstandard patents.