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An ITC judge recommends a U.S. ban for the Xbox 360, even though that seems highly unlikely

The Microsoft Xbox 360 game console should not be imported, and units on store shelves should be pulled, according to an International Trade Commission judge.

Last month, ITC Administrative Law Judge David Shaw found both the 4GB and 250GB editions of the Xbox 360 infringe on four Motorola patents. Specifically, the issue surrounds the H.264 codec which Motorola holds patents dealing with the video codec. However, Microsoft argues that H.264 should be more openly licensed.

Before the Xbox 360 can be banned, however, the ITC Board of Commissioners will double-check the ruling before a final decision is made. A deadline of August 23 has been scheduled, before any type of legal documents can be approved by Pres. Obama’s administration to finalize the ban.

Meanwhile, Microsoft looks forward to the six-member commission ruling in August, and believes its product can continue to be available in the US.

In addition to being unfair to consumers, there is another major factor that needs to be considered after Shaw’s ruling:

“Unlike judges at courts, ITC judges don’t make the decisions: they merely recommend them. Their recommendations are very frequently not adopted by the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the ITC. Not only does the Commission overrule those judges with respect to the actual violations but the Commission also has the final say on remedies.”

Furthermore, game studios and other companies reliant on the Xbox 360 can chime in to help persuade the commission from physically banning the Xbox 360.

Motorola had the Windows 7 OS and Xbox 360 banned in Germany, which set a precedent that some analysts believed would lead to additional global crackdowns. In addition to this ongoing legal saga, Microsoft can celebrate knowing it helped contribute to the ban of Motorola Android-powered phones to the US consumer market.

Source: IGN

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Teach M$ a lesson
By anactoraaron on 5/25/2012 11:46:37 AM , Rating: 0
Microsoft argues that H.264 should be more openly licensed.

And stock android users want .wma to be more openly licensed so they can listen to their music. Or Kindle Fire users (me). So they only want stuff more open when it serves their interests. Too bad.

RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By Lonyo on 5/25/2012 12:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
Except .wma and .h264 aren't comparable, so your point is idiotic.

.wma isn't and wasn't positioned as a generally widely adopted standard, it was Microsoft's own audio format that they did and do license.

h.264 is a standards based "open" codec, which in theory is supposed to be licensable on a FRAND basis. The MS argument is that Motorola have got their patents into a widely adopted standard, and are now refusing to license them on FRAND terms.
Last I knew, MS never did that with their .wma codec.

RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By Lonyo on 5/25/2012 12:06:00 PM , Rating: 4
To clarify:
MS doesn't want h264 to be "open". They want to be able to license it at a reasonable cost, which is what is required by the terms of the whole h.264 patent pool, of which Motorola's patents are part.
If Motorola hadn't agreed to license its patents on a FRAND basis, then those particular things wouldn't have been included in the final h.264 spec, because no one would be happy about licensing it.

If Motorola are trying to renege on their FRAND terms, then a complaint should be made, because they basically set up something on a false premise to then screw over anyone they wanted who adopted the standard, which leaves pretty much everyone open to being screwed over by them.

RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By mcnabney on 5/25/12, Rating: -1
RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By anactoraaron on 5/25/12, Rating: -1
RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By Varun on 5/25/2012 1:06:55 PM , Rating: 3
Holy cow.

OK, that doesn't make something a standard. What makes it a standard, is a large group of people in the industry sit down together and come up with a standard.

By your logic, Chrome and Firefox are NOT standards compliant because they don't support IE6 rendering and Active X controls. You can't have it both ways.

RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By kingmotley on 5/25/2012 2:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Motorola agreed their patents would be available on a FRAND basis, and now they are back peddling on them. The ban is only temporary until Microsoft (and everyone else) gets a judge to slap Motorola across the face.

RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By WalksTheWalk on 5/25/2012 3:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, in my view Moto is in the wrong here after committing to FRAND'ing the codec then charging more than what has historically been considered FRAND for licensing it.

Microsoft is definitely no angel, but Moto is kicking sand in their face.

RE: Teach M$ a lesson
By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/2012 5:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
Inflation buddy. At some point the amount that is "historically" considered to be reasonable FRAND has to go up. Might as well be now.

Microsoft really hoodwinked Moto and others with their licensing scheme, $10-20 per headset is just absurd. Especially given how they refused to even tell them what patents they "infringed" on until they agreed to the licensing payments.

Moto is just trying to even the score. I'm all for it.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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