Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

May 22, 2012 -

Microsoft and Motorola have been at each other’s throats for a while now.

Motorola claims that the Xbox 360 uses “Motorola-developed technology that allows set-top boxes to decode transmissions between its Droid2 and DroidX mobile devices” while Microsoft argues that Motorola refused “to abide by requirements set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association to set reasonable license fees of essential technology.”

Last April, International Trade Commission (ITC) judge David Shaw ruled that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console infringed on four of Motorola’s patents.  Today, Judge Shaw has recommended that the ITC ban the import of the 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 S consoles and prevent further sales with a cease-and-desist order.  Further, Microsoft should post a bond equal to 7% of the value of unsold Xbox 360 inventory already in the country.

Motorola wanted the bond to be 100% but Microsoft pointed out that Motorola had done nothing to show that anyone had bought an Xbox 360 in lieu of Droid devices or set-top converters and argued for a bond equal to what it saw as a reasonable license fee for the technology: 2.5%.

Microsoft argued that Judge Shaw’s order did not serve the public interest because it would leave consumers with only two console options: Sony’s and Nintendo’s.  Shaw slapped down that argument saying that enforcing intellectual property rights outweighed the economic impact on game console buyers and there was no evidence that Microsoft’s competitors wouldn’t be able to handle the demand.

Ouch.

Judge Shaw’s recommendation will now go to the ITC commissioners for consideration.  If the order becomes final, President Barack Obama will have 60 days to review the decision.  After that, ITC orders can only be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Source: Courthouse News Service

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

Motorola are in bed with Google. Of course they want the worst for MS, which is probanly why they didnt bother doing a proper license deal for whatever these patents cover.

Re: Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

Google is buying Motorola. Of course they are closely tied. But associations with other companies are not a factor for not properly licensing a patent. (keep in mind that I think a whole lot of patents in the tech and software industry are bogus and we need serious reform on what is patentable.)

Re: Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

I wonder if they'll start confiscating already owned 360s.

Re: Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

I agree it is a real mess.

Re: Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

Wait, so Microsoft's argument is "Your licenses are too freaking expensive"? And there are actually requirements about not making your licenses too freaking expensive?

Re: Judge Recommends Import Ban on Xbox 360

Apparently yes, for essential technology.

The sad part is that normally, Motorola doesn't have much of a leg to stand on, but German courts are biaised against Microsoft (for various reasons). This cannot end well.

 
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