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.
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