An administrative law judge for the United States International Trade Commission has recommended a ban on Xbox gaming consoles from importing stateside.
According to the recommendation (PDF), which publicly released yesterday, the U.S. ban of 4 GB and 250 GB consoles would essentially penalize Xbox’s manufacturer, Microsoft, for allegedly infringing on Motorola’s patents. ArsTechnica noted the patents under dispute concern video transmission and compression on the Xbox and between controllers.
“[…] It is recommended that the Commission enter a limited exclusion order against infringing Microsoft products. It is further recommended that the Commission issue a cease and desist order. Additionally, it is recommended that Microsoft be required to post a bond for importation of accused products during the Presidential review period,” stated Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw in the public recommendation.
Courthouse News emphasized that the bond sum suggested by the judge would equal to 7 percent of Xbox’s unsold inventory value already present in the country.
Microsoft is in the midst of a smear campaign against Google. The Redmond, Wash.-based Company released videos and websites last spring that painted Google as a shady advertising company, and it often notably differentiates itself from the Internet giant through either blogs, commissioned studies, or advertising. For instance, Microsoft launched a final redesign of its Bing search engine earlier this month that looks strikingly similar to Google’s homepage, but the software manufacturer unveiled the new user-interface with a detailed blog post about how users staunchly prefer its offering to Google.com.
Meanwhile, Google just closed its deal on the $12.9 billion Motorola Mobility acquisition this morning after China finally gave the merger a go-ahead last week. The search engine’s chief executive Larry Page officially announced the transaction and appointed Googler Dennis Woodside as CEO of the bought-out business this morning. However, even before Google purchased Motorola, as ArsTechnica first mentioned, Microsoft and Motorola are embroiled in a patent war that has lasted for years, and this particular complaint against Microsoft with the ITC is over two-years-old.
Judge Shaw’s recommendation against Microsoft will go to the ITC’s board of commissioners, where they will move to either keep the recommendation or overturn it. If allowed to stand, the commission’s president will have 60 days to review and sign it. It will certainly be interesting to see how this conflict heats up now that two of Microsoft’s biggest foes, Google and Motorola, have combined.
- Microsoft ordered to remove Xbox 360, Windows 7 from German market in Motorola patent dispute (9to5google.com)
- Google closes Motorola deal, appoints CEO that Apple once tried to poach (9to5mac.com)