Xbox patent ruling favours Motorola over Microsoft
Published: 24th Apr 2012 12:57:22
Microsoft has suffered a setback in a patent row over technologies used by its Xbox 360 games console.
A judge at the US International Trade Commission has ruled that the firm infringed four patents owned by Motorola Mobility.
The full commission will review the judgement in August.
If the final ruling goes against Microsoft and it does not settle, Motorola could theoretically force it to halt imports of the Xbox to the US.
The claims relate to technologies involved in the H.264 video compression standard and wi-fi connectivity.
This is just one of several cases involving about 50 intellectual properties that the smartphone maker says Microsoft should have licensed.
Microsoft has said that if it met all of Motorola's demands it would face an annual bill of $4bn (£2.5bn).
Motorola - which is in the process of being taken over by Google - disputes the figure.
A spokesman for Motorola said: "Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio, and we remain confident in our position."
However, Microsoft signalled it planned to fight on, saying: "We remain confident the commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft's favour."
Patent consultant Florian Mueller, who advises Microsoft, noted on his blog that three of the four disputed patents involved Frand-type technologies.
These are inventions recognised as being essential to an industry standard. In other words, Microsoft could not offer wi-fi or the ability to play H.264 videos without using them.
Such patents must be offered under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms".
At the start of April, the European Commission said that it had launched two investigations into whether Motorola's efforts to enforce its Frand-type innovations amounted to "an abuse of a dominant market position".
The next significant ruling involving the two firms is due on 2 May from a court in Mannheim, Germany.
It will decide whether Motorola should be allowed to order a ban on the distribution of Windows 7, Windows Media Payer and the Xbox console in the country because of the H.264 patents dispute.
Microsoft has already moved its European software distribution centre from Germany to the Netherlands to minimise potential disruption.
However, a US court has ruled that Motorola must not enforce such a ban until a Washington-based judge considers evidence about the company's Frand-related behaviour. A hearing is scheduled for 7 May.
At 04:54:51 in WorldI went back to the little Japanese town of Namie this week. It lies just 5km (three miles) north of the sprawling complex that was once the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
At 04:35:41 in HeadlinesThe search for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger plane has been widened amid growing frustration among relatives of those missing.
At 04:09:45 in HeadlinesA meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will not happen until Moscow engages with US proposals to tackle the crisis in Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.
At 04:02:58 in WorldBank of England governor Mark Carney is to be quizzed by MPs over claims some of the bank's officials knew about alleged foreign exchange rate fixing.
At 04:00:06 in BusinessVirtu, a high-frequency trading firm in New York, has filed paperwork with US regulators for a public share sale.
At 03:51:00 in HeadlinesNew Zealand is to hold a referendum on whether to change the national flag, Prime Minister John Key has announced.
At 02:41:25 in WorldShipping in the Canadian city of Vancouver has been disrupted as container lorry drivers go on strike.
At 02:15:32 in HeadlinesThe US state of Colorado collected $2m (£1.2m) in taxes from newly legalized recreational marijuana businesses in January.
At 02:14:42 in PoliticsA specialist unit should be set up to provide expertise and support for public inquiries to make them more efficient, a Lords committee has said.
At 01:59:58 in ScotlandInsane Championship Wrestling has blood, violence, bad language and a rapidly growing popularity but it all began as a way out of tough times for its founder.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Xbox patent ruling favours Motorola over Microsoft [Online] (Updated 24th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1424311/Xbox-patent-ruling-favours-Motorola-over-Microsoft [Accessed 11th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
A man has been shot in both legs in an attack in Londonderry.
The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 claimed the lives of at least 240 people and left more than 5,000 homes and businesses under water when the poorly constructed Dale Dyke Dam at Bradfield collapsed.
Two women who were severely injured by commonly-used surgical implants have revealed their stories ahead of mass legal action against the manufacturer.
Troubled Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has won temporary bankruptcy protection in the US.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney is to be quizzed by MPs over claims some of the bank's officials knew about alleged foreign exchange rate fixing.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com