Microsoft’s 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 game consoles would be banned from import into the U.S. under a recommendation issued by an administrative law judge for the International Trade Commission.

The recommendation follows a ruling that Microsoft’s game console infringes on Motorola’s digital video patents. Microsoft argues that Motorola is seeking unreasonable licensing fees for patented technologies required to implement industry standards.

It’s the latest development in the international chess match between Microsoft and Motorola, the mobile phone giant newly acquired by Google.

In a separate case, the ITC last week ruled that Motorola won’t be able to import Android devices that infringe on Microsoft’s patent for “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device.” Unless it successfully appeals, Motorola will need to remove the technology from Android devices or strike a licensing deal with Microsoft.

Microsoft would be faced with a similar dilemma if the ITC finalizes the administrative law judge’s recommendation for a ban on Xbox 360 imports. According to Courthouse News Service, the judge also recommended that the ITC require Microsoft post a bond equal to 7 percent of the value of unsold Xbox 360s already in the United States.

Update: Here is Microsoft’s statement on the recommendation.

“The recommendation by the Administrative Law Judge is the first step in the process leading to the Commission’s final ruling and has no immediate effect on the availability of Xbox 360 in the U.S. We remain confident the Commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft’s favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms.”

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  • Guest

    Shame on Google for using their patents as a weapon against the #1 game console in the United States.

    • Guest

      You mean after MS used their patents as a weapon against the #1 phone OS in the US and worldwide?

  • Guest

    I think they have bigger problems. Like Dell’s results last night and analyst’s calls today saying that W8 will disappoint.

  • Jason

    Karma is a bitch. But no doubt they will do whatever it takes seeing as how with E3 coming up, wouldn’t want a ban on your product…with rumors of a next gen console coming.

  • Christopher Budd

    OK, so while Microsoft and Google (now that they own Motorola) fight the legal equivalent of the Western Front in World War I, people’s ability to lay hands on things like XBoxes, HTC phones etc is being hampered. And this trend looks likely to continue for years while the lawyers fight this all out.

    How is this in service of “delighting customers”?
    All this does for me is make me hate both companies for being unable to be grownups and come up with a solution that doesn’t actually impact us.It’s like when there’s a strike: I generally have no sympathy for either party. They should’ve been able to work it out on their own. I end up rewarding both by going somewhere else.

    • Guest

      Well, you could go to Sony on the game front. But on the phone one you face the same issues with virtually everybody who matters suing or being sued by someone else, including Apple. This is much bigger than MS/Google. It’s not pretty, but that’s what happens when billions and billions in current and future profit is at stake.

      • Christopher Budd

        Yeah, I agree. This is part of what I find so very disappointing about the current state of patent litigation and mentioned in a comment that John picked up here:

        I’m all for intellectual property rights but it just feels that all the action in tech is in the courtrooms.

        • Guest

          There’s plenty of action in tech outside of the courtroom. The reality is that intellectual property rights are only as good as other’s willingness to respect them or yours to seek legal recourse.

          MS clearly feels they have a legitimate beef and many (most?) Android OEMs have agreed to license. Since many of those are large sophisticated entities, the argument that they were bullied into it isn’t really compelling. Obviously those companies saw enough exposure to chose licensing over litigation. On this Xbox related one, the issue isn’t the validity of the claim. I believe MS has acknowledged it. The problem is the ridiculous royalty demanded by Motorola, which even they know admit wasn’t realistic.

          Going beyond both, I think Google has to shoulder much of the blame for the recent increase in litigation. As court records now prove, they knowingly released a product to the market that they knew violated the patented property of others. Then they didn’t indemnify it, and instead sat back and let their OEMs get sued by Apple, MS, and others. It was an irresponsible way to do business, and now that Google owns MMI they’re finally on the hook directly for some of it. Which is as it should be.

          • Christopher Budd

            I understand your points but I don’t know that it’s that black and white. 

            In the profusion of patent lawsuits, many of these (not necessarily in this case, mind you) seem patent trolling and designed not to protect intellectual property but to essentially extort money as the path of least resistance.I can’t help but think of something a theater professor once said. “If you had modern copyright laws in Elizabethan England, there would be no Shakespeare.” Basically, the point being that not only is having the idea  important, but what you do with it is as well. I can’t help but wonder about that point here, where so much time and energy is being focused on controlling the idea, nearly to the exclusion of doing anything with it.

          • Guest

            One person’s “extort money” is another’s “ensure a competitor isn’t cutting corners by breaking the law”. And again, the statement “nearly to the exclusion of doing anything else” is not even remotely accurate or applicable. The pace of mobile OS and app development and innovation has never been faster. What’s happening in court is largely the purview of the respective legal departments. To date, actual impact on product-facing teams has been minimal.

  • Fred jenkins

    so, starting in consumer IT the same day DOS 6.22 was released, I watched Microsoft play the same game for a decade or more essentially, and all this boils down to is one corporation whining about getting beat at it’s own game, and no one screeches like whiny little prom queens like capitalists being screwed by other capitalists, I’d rather they get guns and go have a corporate war somewhere in mexico, maybe do a PPV broadcast or something

    • Ddubbya

      Thank you for adding your whining

  • Guest

    So if it gets banned, will it be legal to own one? And what of xbox live? What i’m seeing is that they will no longe be sold…. lets hope thats the only thing that changes if this happens…

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