This Man Wants To See The Xbox 360 Banned From Sale (And He Might Actually Succeed)

This Man Wants To See The Xbox 360 Banned From Sale (And He Might Actually Succeed)

The Microsoft v Motorola court case that’s been bubbling away since 2010 seems to be heating up in all the wrong ways for the Xbox 360 manufacturer, with a judge involved recommending that the console’s US imports and sales be halted immediately.

International Trade Commission judge David Shaw, pictured, has said he believes that the importing of 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 consoles into the United States (they’re manufactured in China) should be immediately suspended, and that Microsoft should pay Motorola 7% of the value of any unsold consoles remaining in the United States.

Those consoles already in the US and not sold would then also be barred from sale with a cease-and-desist order.

While Microsoft obviously protested, believing the suspension of Xbox 360 sales would hurt competition in the marketplace, Shaw says “enforcing intellectual property rights outweighs any potential economic impact on video game console buyers.”

The dispute dates back a few years, and centres around allegations that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 infringes upon five patents held by Motorola, mostly related to video codecs.

If the ITC’s commissioners agree with Shaw, their recommendation will end up on President Obama’s desk, where he and his advisors will have 60 days to review it.

Note that the ban only mentions Microsoft’s current 4GB and 250GB systems; the fate of 320GB consoles or older, pre-owned and refurbished Xbox 360s is unclear.

It follows similar action earlier in the month in Germany, which also relates to the Motorola dispute.

Microsoft Faces U.S. Import Ban on Xbox 360 [Courtroom News, via Game Politics]


  • It’ll never make it past Obama. It’d be political suicide, he’d alienate the 80% of the voting population that actually plays games.

          • Implying no Xboxes in the last five years have any faults in them whatsoever.
            I lold irl.

          • If by fixed you mean “covered in glue to stop the melted solder being broken when the main board flexes due to heat” then yes. It was “fixed”.

        • “Mr President! You can’t possibly sign this!

          What of the limited number of gamers who may/may not vote who may experience hardware failure that do not have current warranties and may need to buy a replacement and be limited in choice to 320gb models, pre-owned models, or refurbished models?

          They may actually vote against you on this one issue of a major corporation violating patent law and it being enforced!”

          Yeah. I’m sure it’ll be a major consideration.

    • Hmmm, they have to weigh that against the actual legalities of the case, I think.

      Just saying “it will piss off gamers” isn’t enough of a reason to fly in the face of due process… and also, I think you’re overestimating the importance of gaming in the political sphere.

      • Not only that, it’s the importance of a small segment of the gaming public who don’t have warranties AND are Xbox users, as opposed to non-Xbox users.

        Weighed up against the movement of corporates who live and die by patent law enforcement to protect their IP.

        Easy choice.

    • I am speaking from no knowledge of the laws here but I don’t think the recommendation to Obama will be ban the console altogether. I think it will be more along the lines of how much compensation is owed for the infringing patents.
      Once this is decided its then its up to MS to pony up the cash or stop importing. The current ban is just to prevent any importing until an agreement is reached so MS dont mass import everything before they have to pay royalties/compensation.

  • Microsoft you know what you have to do. Pay for the patents just as you had Google (android phone/tablet manufacturers) pay for the patents (to Microsoft) in their Android OS. Dont whine. Pay up. Then you can still sell your 360s. If you dont pay for those patents then too bad if your consoles get blocked from being sold. Im sure you would have done the same things if companies making android phones failed to pay for your patents.

    Fairs fair.

  • Surely MIcrosoft, if they find themselves up against the wall, will simply pay off whatever Motorola are suing for … Banning sales altogether is something MIcrosoft will want to avoid at all costs, and given the right settlement, surely Motorola can be reasonable about it.
    Unless they’re planning the Motorola 720, I would have thought an amicable agreement between them is the most mutually beneficial solution.

    • Not sure if its common knowledge but Microsoft makes more off the patent fees from Googles Android OS then it does for its Windows Phone operation. Thats a lot of cash for patents the microsoft owns. This is exactly why Google bought (its finalized now) Motorola. For patents. Its basically you slug me with patent fees, i will slug you back.

      I guess the reason Why microsoft will fight this is because the 360 is probably on razor thin profit margins as it is and hasnt done alot to pay off the massive billion dollar investment into the xbox brand. This will only further erode that profitability so they will fight tooth and nail not to pay.

      I would laugh if the 360 does get banned due to this issue, with good reason. Microsoft deserves whats happening to the 360.

  • 7% for video codecs…

    Im assuming that this is codecs that are used in displaying video game content, rather than simply the contents of the optional media update to play video files (avi etc) with these codecs??? sorry, not really a tech dude but you know what I mean. Just seems like a large percentage if this does not relate to video games?

    • No idea. But “codecs” aren’t .avi .mp4 etc, they’re just containers that can hold other codecs within. As for codecs used in games, yeah it’s possible. But unless it’s something somewhat common, I don’t see why Motorolo would have a patent for it and I’m pretty sure games can run video using there own codecs in some cases. So this doesn’t necessarily have to do with games.

  • Terrible headline.

    Ultimately, it goes to show that all the hooha about IP really doesn’t help innovation as much as it keeps lawyers in hookers & blow.

  • Article has nothing to do with banning it from sale in Australia. Probably should have had an edited headline when it was posted here.

  • Conspricy theory time, Nov 6th both the Halo 4 luanch and the US predential election take place.In the US voting is optional and Obama does very well with the “youth” vote.So its in his political intrest not to distract this demographic with the luanch, now most Halo devotee’s allready have a 360 but its said to be a very close election and as the 2000 election shows sometimes a handfull of votes can make the differience.

  • Omg he permab& the xbawks omg omg political suicide.

    Seriously. Sometimes you people are retarded.

    On another note it looks like Microsoft will copping a taste of their own medicine, while we as consumers can expect some freaking innovation. It has been a long wait.

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