Judge recommends Xbox 360 ban in the US. Barack Obama may have final say. No, REALLY

Microsoft has been having a legal dispute over patent infringement with Motorola. Not that anyone outside of the companies really minded too much - this sort of thing happens all the time. However, a US Judge has now recommended that the imports of the two Slim models of the console (ie the only kinds they're selling at the moment) into the USA should cease and that existing stock should be banned from sale. OK, now we're paying attention.

Above: Xbox 360 Slim doing just fine in the US. BUT FOR HOW LONG?

Sound like it'll never happen? Well, the same thing has already happened in Germany, with only a temporary injunction placed on Motorola preventing the ban from being enforced. Sounds mental to us, but we haven't studied German law.

So what's going to happen now in the US? Well, the US International Trade Commission's Judge, David Shaw, has made his recommendation, which means the ITC now has to decide whether it agrees, or whether any amendments need to be made.

If the recommendation is deemed sound, that means the buck finally stops with some bloke called Barack Obama. He's the head of some... thing. What's it called? Ah yes - the Free World. The President may have to save Xbox 360. Or at least two models of it. We're guessing Microsoft is in the process of sending him an Xbox or five.

Above: "Oh, but Barack! I wanna play the one with the war in it again"

The two models deemed to infringe the patent are both the 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 Slim versions of the Xbox 360, which use technology patented by Motorola related to 'secure wireless communication and transmission of video content between controller devices and game consoles'. We're not sure what that relates to exactly - in fact, no-one does outside of the case, as the companies have been keen to avoid releasing 'proprietary information' to everyone. And Microsoft wireless controllers clearly don't play video. But the patents were deemed to have been breached back in April, so that's not being disputed.

What is being disputed is exactly what the damage amounts to. Microsoft argued that no customers bought Xbox 360s instead of Motorola devices, but that fell on deaf ears. The judge recommended that Microsoft pay a bond of 7 per cent of the value of all imported but unsold Xbox 360 inventory. Motorola suggested it should be 100 per cent of the inventory value (they must be loving this).

Finally, to add insult to injury, when Microsoft argued that consumers would be forced to fall back on PlayStation and Wii consoles, the judge said that Sony and Nintendo were perfectly capable of meeting demand. Ouch.

So, despite the drama, we'd say it'll probably not end up with Xbox 360 being banned from sale, especially if President Obama has the final say. After all, think of all those angry voters...

Sources: MCV, Courthouse News


  • Kinnolo - June 3, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    This is just colossally retarded on every level. "Oh Microsoft and Motorola are having a hissy fit contest over an infringement claim. Let's just ban the whole fucking console." This is just setting Microsoft up to sue Motorola and the United States supreme court. Get your wallets ready folks, I see another bailout coming. You can't ban a product over an infringement CLAIM. You can't even ban if the court rules in favor of Motorola. The most they can do is order Microsoft to pay royalties.
  • Kinnolo - June 3, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    Oh wow, it didn't filter the post.... Oops. >.>
  • Pacific - May 24, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    Well, personally I think it should have happened years ago when the 360 went on release. I'm sure that broke a few 'fit for purpose' laws internationally, it was by far the most unreliable machine to ever be released. Specifically, the 'time release' acid capsule that was released a short time after the warranty finished..
  • coyoteDUSTER - May 24, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    Obama won't make a decision until AFTER election day. (hopefully it won't be his to make)
  • mbavalo - May 24, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    They are definitely mental! I own a PS3 but I like Xbox just as much, that possibly cannot happen or Motorola will gain a load full of haters! This is shit that should happen to Nintendo, for all I know, Nintendo gamers are not serious and will not really be hit as hard as other gamers
  • Darkhawk - May 24, 2012 6:23 a.m.

    Oh, too bad. Two of the world's largest corporate entitites are in a pissing match. Oh well, it'll inevitably come down to harm to consumers, you can be sure of that.
  • Ditchy69 - May 24, 2012 4:36 a.m.

    Thats mental - I tilted my head like "Really???". Oh and just to annoy all those Anarchists and Anti-Corporations freedom fighters/internet warriors on here - dont count on it actually might have to go outside any play to calm down when people keep buying xbox's. There is a reason why its the most popular console out there and banning it would just cause outrage. Why I dont hate the WII or dislike the PS3.. the PS3 would just break and get hacked under the pressure of having an increase in numbers, and the WII would just probs get played a few times then left to get dusty under a tv. If anything, people would probs just switch to PC gaming or find Xbox's from somewhere (price would increase because of demand) lol. Obama wouldnt ban it sure he plays xbox live under XxXiTz_ObAmA_SnipeZXxX lol
  • jmcgrotty - May 24, 2012 1:52 a.m.

    The fun side-story to all this, though it isn't video-game related? In a separate case,the ITC has ruled that Motorola infringes on Microsoft patents with their Motorola Mobility smartphones, and those products are not allowed to enter the country. It also is going to Obama. By the way, the reason that they go to Obama are to see if it should be overruled on public policy grounds (that would say that it would cause too much harm to society for the ruling to be upheld. It isn't as dramatic as that makes it sound). And as to the "tranmission of video" part of it, that is misleading. The tech was originally made to transfer stuff between set-top boxes and Droid2's and DroidX'es, and was noted in the patent filing. The same tech is used in the Xbox controllers, just doesn't use the video part of the tech. So, the video part is irrelevant in this situation, and has to do with how the initial patent was worded.
  • pr0tostar - May 23, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    "when Microsoft argued that consumers would be forced to fall back on PlayStation and Wii consoles, the judge said that Sony and Nintendo were perfectly capable of meeting demand." Smart judge. Microsoft's really not suited to cater to console gaming nowadays anyway, Scams and consumer mockery is more their niche But hey it's Microsoft. It's k they'll just make a new model.
  • c-c-c-combo breaker - May 23, 2012 6:23 p.m.

    Fuck the giant corporations, man! Like, totally!
  • Divine Paladin - May 23, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    And this is relevant how? Microsoft is on the verge of another console anyway, and those that don't have one yet probably don't want one. All this means is that Microsoft would have to push up the NeXtBox Which could actually mean MORE profit for them.
  • forestfire55 - May 23, 2012 5:24 p.m.

    Romnies new slogan "My wives and I love our x-box"
  • robotdickens - May 23, 2012 5:12 p.m.

    Anarchy I say. We should all march into the streets and... you know what, I'll just occupy my couch or something. That'll show them! Hahaha
  • winner2 - May 23, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    Kind of funny that's this actually happened
  • nemesisuprising - May 23, 2012 3:37 p.m.

  • IceBlueKirby - May 23, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Ugh, good thing I don't need a new Xbox. Not that I expect this to pass, but you really never know.
  • BurntToShreds - May 23, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    This is why I dislike patent laws; they create ridiculous situations like this one. One day someone is going to patent photosynthesis and claim that they own all of the plants in the world or something.
  • blood45638 - May 23, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    This is partly Motorolas fault because the codec microsoft used was advertised by motorola as something anyone could use so motorola is breaking its promise by suing microsoft.
  • Fuzunga - May 23, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    Once Obama realizes that Halo 4 comes out on election day, this will never pass.
  • FierceVoltage - May 23, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    perhaps by "video transmitting controller devices" they are referring to the kinect?

Showing 1-20 of 70 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000