View Full Version : Video Games MS/Motorola pissing match could result in halt of 360 sales in US

05-23-2012, 06:41 PM
Update: A Microsoft representative stated, "the full Commission will rule on this in August, and until that time, nothing will change." As such, IGN received the following statement, which is identical to the original comment from last month:

“The recommendation by the Administrative Law Judge is the first step in the process leading to the Commission’s final ruling. We remain confident the Commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft’s favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms.”

Original Story: Following up on a previous ruling, which deemed Microsoft in violation of Motorola WiFi and video codec patents, judge David Shaw has recommended against the continued sale of the Xbox 360 in the United States, according to MCV. Should Microsoft be deemed in infringement of existing patents, it would threaten the possibility of selling consoles using that tech.

"Enforcing intellectual property rights outweighs any potential economic impact on video game console buyers," said Shaw.

This movement isn't a decision, but it could influence the International Trade Commission's final decision in the case. If the ITC happens to agree with Shaw's call, the verdict will move up to the White House, where the decision to halt sales will be at the whim of President Barack Obama and his advisers.

With the Xbox 360 and Windows 7 having been banned in Germany this month, it's not a far cry to say Microsoft's infringement on Motorola Mobility's intellectual property could affect the States.

Microsoft argued to Shaw that a United States ban would be unfair to consumers, who would have limited options. Shaw declared Nintendo and Sony could pick up the slack.

We've reached out to Microsoft for a reaction, and will have more on this case as it draws to a close.

^ is a response to this: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/05/itc-motorola-android-ban-microsof/

The U.S. International Trade Commission awarded Microsoft what could be a significant patent victory on Friday by deciding that all of Motorola Mobility’s Android phones and tablets should face an American import ban.

The proposed ban, which was first reported by the website Foss Patents, is the result of a December ITC ruling that Motorola’s Android devices violate a Microsoft-owned patent — patent 6370566 — that pertains to “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device.”

Essentially, Microsoft owns a patent on enabling a mobile device to give users “the ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself” by assigning the created meeting request, or “object,” by way of “a global identification number which uniquely identifies the object to other devices which encounter the object.”

The Obama administration has 60 days to review the ITC’s decision. If the government doesn’t overturn the ban, it will go into effect after the 60-day period is over. Motorola can get around the import ban by removing the feature from its devices or by reaching a patent licensing deal with Microsoft, as many other Android handset makers, such as Samsung, LG and HTC have done.

But, as HTC is discovering right now, software changes can still delay the shipment of new products as federal officials inspect devices to make sure they’re in the clear.

The ITC, which is made up of a six-member board of commissioners, also imposed a 33-cent levy on each device Motorola imports into the U.S. during the 60-day review period.

Motorola officials were unavailable for comment by press time. For its part, Microsoft said it attempted to strike a deal with Motorola before heading to the ITC with its complaint and is still open to a settlement of some sort.

“Microsoft sued Motorola in the ITC only after Motorola chose to refuse Microsoft’s efforts to renew a patent license for well over a year,” David Howard, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel and a corporate vice president, told Wired in an e-mail. “We’re pleased the full Commission agreed that Motorola has infringed Microsoft’s intellectual property, and we hope that now Motorola will be willing to join the vast majority of Android device makers selling phones in the US by taking a license to our patents.”

05-23-2012, 07:12 PM