U.S. Congressmen to ITC: "Step Off Microsoft"
June 13, 2012 6:46 PM
Eight Congressmen wrote a letter to the ITC opposing the Xbox 360 ban
A group of Congressmen wrote a letter to the International Trade Commission (ITC) in opposition of an import
ban against Microsoft's Xbox 360 console
Congress members Dave Reichert, Norm Dicks, Jim McDermott, Doc Hastings, Adam Smith, Rick Larsen, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Jaime Herrera Beutler signed the letter, which urged the ITC to think twice about the Xbox 360 ban.
The letter was prompted by an ITC investigation into Motorola Mobility's patent infringement claims against Microsoft. As a result, ITC administrative law Judge David Shaw has recommended that the Xbox 360 console should be banned. The issue is the H.264 codec, which Motorola has patents associated with the video codec.
However, the above-mentioned list of Congress members along with companies like Verizon and Nokia disagree with the ban. In the letter from Congress members, it said a ban on the Xbox 360 could threaten high-paying U.S. jobs as well as economic growth, since the Xbox 360 is one of the top gaming consoles in the U.S. at the moment.
In addition, the letter noted that an exclusion order could hurt third-party investments that provide products and services for the Xbox 360 and depend on its sales. Game developers, publishers and retailers mainly fall under this category.
U.S. consumers could stand to lose as well, according to the letter to ITC Chairman Deanna Okun. Without the Xbox 360, competition in the gaming industry could be stifled and lead to an increase in prices for game consoles and titles.
"For these reasons, we urge you to consider carefully the implications a negative ruling in this matter would have on our economy, consumers, industry and jobs in Washington State and throughout the country," said the letter.
Motorola had also sought to ban the Xbox 360 and Windows 7 OS
in Germany last month
The letter to the ITC can be found
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