Xbox 360 Ban in US Imminent?
This past April, Motorola Mobility filed a complaint against Microsoft regarding Wi-Fi technology and the H.264 video codec patents with the International Trade Commission, where the ITC found Microsoft in violation of these patents. Washington state judge David Shaw upheld this decision, assembling a committee to investigate further.
The commission made it’s decision on May 18, but we won’t hear the results until sometime in August.
This movement isn’t final, but it could easily influence the International Trade Commission’s final decision in the case. If the ITC agrees with Shaw, the verdict will move to the White House, where the decision to halt sales will be at President Obama’s and his adviser’s desks.
With the Xbox 360 and Windows 7 having been banned in Germany already this month, its not necessarily a long shot to say this infringement could affect the US.
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.
The Xbox 360 is manufactured by Foxconn in China, so import blocks would severely limit the availability and sale of the console in the US after August 2012.
Microsoft has released a statement:
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.