Xbox to Get Banhammer in United States?
Amid the more fun and sexy lawsuits between Activision and Infinity Ward, Silicon Knights and Epic Games, and Zenimax and everyone else, we haven’t reported much on the patent litigation between Microsoft and Motorola. The nut of the case is that Motorola is suing Microsoft, alleging that the Xbox 360 console decodes video content using technology that’s patented by Motorola, among a few other alleged patent infringements.
As a result, Motorola is seeking to ban the importation and sale of Xbox 360 Slim systems in the United States, a ruling they’ve already won in German court, meaning that import and sale of the systems in that country are banned. However, an American judge issued a temporary restraining order to keep Motorola from enforcing that particular judgment while the case continues to wend its way to its conclusion.
But yesterday a different US judge made a similar recommendation, suggesting that the console’s import and sale in the US be halted, having found the console to have infringed on Motorola’s patent. The ruling would affect importation of the 4 GB and 250 GB versions of the Xbox 360 Slim. It seems as though the case is going Motorola’s way. According to Courthouse News, if the judge’s recommendations become final, President Obama (seriously) has 60 days to review the decision. If the 60 days lapse with no reversal from the president, the decision can be appealed in Federal court.
This thing is crazy. I’m relatively sure that sale of the consoles already in the United States couldn’t be stopped, but limiting the importation and sale of the country’s number one console would be pretty disastrous for Microsoft. I’m interested to see what happens next…