ITC Delays Final Decision in Motorola Mobility, Microsoft Patent Case
July 2, 2012 11:40 AM
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The final ruling was supposed to take place August 23, but it looks like that is no longer the case
A panel from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has postponed a final decision on the patent infringement case launched by
Google's Motorola Mobility unit against Microsoft
According to the ITC, the case will be sent back to the judge for reconsideration, which is expected to take months. The final ruling was supposed to take place August 23, but it looks like that is no longer the case.
Motorola Mobility, which is now a part of Google, filed patent complaints against Microsoft last year. Motorola fought against Microsoft's licensing demands for Android makers, which could have forced the company to pay Microsoft $15 or more for each Android gadget.
In April of this year,
ITC Administrative Law Judge David Shaw found both the 4GB and 250GB editions of the Xbox 360 infringe on four Motorola patents
related to H.264 codec.
However, he ruled that Microsoft hadn't infringed on a fifth patent. The patents were related to the wireless connection of the Xbox to the Internet and techniques for video compression to speed transmission.
One month later, the ITC judge recommended a
ban on the Xbox 360 gaming console
in the U.S. Motorola had asked that the Xbox 360 be banned from importation into the United States.
The idea of a ban was not well-received by many.
Eight U.S. Congressman
, for example, wrote a letter to the ITC last month saying that a ban on the gaming console 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. Consumers
could stand to lose as well, since 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.
There is currently no set date for the final decision in this case.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/3/2012 10:59:59 AM
The US patent system needs to change, but that starts in the US Legislature.
It's been the typical governmental happenings at the USPTO over the past 10 years or so:
1. The USPTO had their funds cut which caused them to get behind in their work. (It's common for agencies to create work slowdowns to gain their funding back since they can create lots of complaints to Congress due to the pain of a slowdown. I can't say if that was the case here but it's common.)
2. After enough people complained, Congress passed a law that the USPTO had to complete patent evaluations within a certain timeframe.
3. The USPTO decreased the amount of scrutiny it gave to each patent application because they were required, by penalty of law, to complete them in a specified timeframe.
Now, billions of dollars are being spent to attack, defend, buy and sell patents because they can be used as legal WMDs. Just think if all of this effort was spent on productive things.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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