Motorola Looks to Block Xbox 360 Imports With Patent Win
A patent dispute between Motorola and Microsoft has resulted in victory for Motorola, and it could result in an injunction that bans the import of Xbox 360s to the U.S.
The ruling comes from the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is a separate entity from the standard judicial system that rules on patent violations in the U.S. Companies often take their disputes to the ITC even before they’ve been ruled upon by a judge who can determine if one company has violated the patent of another because the ITC has the power to ban the import of products if those products infringe on patents held by a U.S. company. The idea is to protect U.S. businesses from foreign companies and their products.
In the case of Motorola, the ITC has ruled that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is in violation of four of the mobile device company’s patents, related to wireless networking and video encoding. The six-member commission also ruled that Motorola is in violation of one of Microsoft’s patents.
The result very well could be that Microsoft is banned from importing Xboxes into the U.S. from where they’re manufactured in Asia, depending on how the ITC rules. If that’s the case, Microsoft will have to alter the Xbox so that it’s no longer in violation of the patents in order to get around the injunction.
The whole situation is the result of a series of patent battles between Microsoft and Motorola. Electronics companies routinely sue each other for patent infringement, but the ruling could mean that Microsoft will have to settle with Motorola to dodge the injunction. In any case, the ITC is set to review the evidence and make a final ruling on the case on Aug. 23.