Court OK's Datel antitrust case against Microsoft

Judge tosses Xbox 360 maker's motions to dismiss case, clearing the way for lawsuit filed by third-party memory unit company to proceed.

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In November, Datel filed an antitrust lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court against Microsoft after the fall Xbox Live Update locked out third-party memory units. In one fell swoop, the move eliminated a large chunk of the UK-based peripheral maker's business, as it sold Xbox 360 Memory Units with higher capacities--at lower prices--than those made by Microsoft.

Datel's 2GB and 4GB memory cards were locked out by Xbox Live's latest update.

Microsoft's legal team filed several motions asking federal Judge Elizabeth Laporte to throw out the case, which accuses the Xbox maker of violating antitrust laws by requiring 360 owners to buy only first-party accessories. Late Friday, Laporte dismissed three of Microsoft's four motions, with Datel having the chance to amend the accepted motion. Her decision clears the way for Datel's suit to proceed, and the two parties will meet next month to prepare for a June 2 hearing.

Datel's victory as a plaintiff comes as it is the defendant in another lawsuit brought by none other than Microsoft. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Microsoft is suing Datel over its "TurboFire" and "WildFire" wireless controllers, which the software giant claims infringe on patents related to the Xbox 360 controller.

Discussion

96 comments
Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Take that m$ with your overpriced memory units. Then again we use usbs now.

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

Where are all the "Competition is good for everyone" comments? Apparently Microsoft doesn't believe the line of propaganda they've sold to gamers.

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

lol at typical responses from brainwashed xbots. they still believe m$ is doing this for consumer benefit.

karloss01
karloss01

they banned third party products for a ridiculus reason, its like the government banning windows OS because hackers use that the most to hack other people. it not Datel's fault that some people may use their products to install hacking programs on the console. ban the people not the products, hope Microsoft gets their arse handed to them in court.

thekey
thekey

Good I hope M$ looses this case also.(I don't like 3rd party products for the most part.) But it is clear M$ is just using and abusing there money power to shut competition out as they always do.

Paul2004
Paul2004

While some 3rd party stuff is crap quality others do make good products. What Microsoft did was ban everything that wasnt made by them and that is unjust in my mind. We should be able to decide for ourselfs what we use and what we buy for it, its the same with Printers....everyone doesnt buy the expensive ink (I use a CISS, much cheaper and good quality) just because they say we shouldnt. In the end we bought the consoles so we should decide what we wanna use to store our data. M$ charges extortionate prices for add ons afterall

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

Over the years i've found that all third party peripherals suck except Logitechs, but they've kinda backed off this gen.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Fing M$ I had two of these and they locked all my DLC out

X-RS
X-RS

well, not a lot of people care now. new updates out. as for antitrust n microsoft, whats your opinion with all the trash music on mtv/readio?!?

The_crapgamer
The_crapgamer

@ Hvac0120 Nobody is forcing people to buy the items in the first place. I use the HDD that came with my system, if anything the new update that allows flash drives is geared towards the consumer more then anything else. Look what happens when MS let's you use third party flash drives, we already have hacks coming out of our ears. I have friends with Mad Catz controllers that have broken in the first couple of days and most emit a weird buzzing noise through the headset and "Walk" on there own. So I can see where MS is coming from, these shotty 3rd party peripherals are making MS look bad and endanger the XBL community as a whole.

The_crapgamer
The_crapgamer

@Samus_Chan I hate third party controllers as well. Nothing worse then the mad catz stuff they try to throw out at people. Third party support has ruined plenty of things. You never heard of Game Genie breaking peoples consoles and games? It was so bad they had to put a warning on the thing. I think for the most part people try to view MS as a bad thing and are happy to see something like this in the news. It's such a stupid thing, when you think of all the good things MS has done for us.

AtlasXII
AtlasXII

Stop complaining about Microsoft and start buying more of their products, they need our support in these grim times and are entitled to our money for all the quality they introduced into the gaming world. Every dollar counts, so you better not be holding back. Let's work together and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. WE CAN DO IT!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@The_crapgamer I won't argue with you, but some of you facts are not from previous comments you've made in this and other threads. I will agree that a company should be able to decide which 3rd party devices it allows and blocks from it's hardware. However, if the device is capable and compatible then it seems that it would be in the manufacturers best interest to permit the devices. With both Sony and Nintendo permitting non-licensed 3rd part devices on their consoles, it only adds to the negative view of Microsoft's decision. Add to all of this the price gauging that Microsoft has been doing on its accessories and its no wonder these topics cause huge arguments. Microsoft wants a secure network, so it's understandable that there is reason behind blocking devices that could potentially be used to break that security. Especially on a network like XBL where millions of people could be infected instantly if something went wrong. It's also understandable that Microsoft wants the licensing revenue from accessories. It just seems that with all that goes into it, the price overshadows the benefits and produces a negative outlook on what they are trying to accomplish. I don't believe Microsoft has found the sweet spot between price and quality for most consumers. So, people get mad when a more affordable option is available and [was] compatible and Microsoft uses software to eliminate that option without providing any reasonable explanation why. _

Action
Action

@The_Crapgamer There is so much wrong with what you're saying. First off, none of Apple's creators (Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak or Ronald Wayne) ever worked at Microsoft. You might be thinking of the deal in 1997 where Apple put MS Office and IE on the Mac platform but none of Apple's creators worked for MS. I've never once heard of a Game Genie breaking a system. All it does is modify the bits going from the cartridge to the system. Also, you use the Game Genie example but you don't mention anything else, like 3rd party controllers or power plugs. Should those be shut out as well? For the record, Nintendo lost out on trying to shut out Galoob and Microsoft is probably going to lose out on shutting out Datel. You call it MS hate but I'd be willing to bet every single person who's "hating" would be saying the same exact thing if Sony or Nintendo tried pulling BS like this.

The_crapgamer
The_crapgamer

@Hvac0120 Doubt it friend. Un-licensed 3rd party items are not really supposed to be allowed on first party items. It was like the old Game Genie back in the day, it could possibly break your system by using it. I support MS with this, I mean it's their console, they should dictate who can and cannot put out 3rd party items for it. Sheesh, get off the MS hate people.

melty3219
melty3219

Microsoft have more than enough reasons to ban Datels crappy memory cards... - Datels memory cards are UN-LICENCED - It is Microsoft's console and they are allowed to do whatever they want with it. - There is no more need for the memory cards as USB drive support have been added. - The last Datel memory cards were for the Gamecube and they were hacked and allowed users to play Gamecube "Backups". They also released a PSP Pandora battery maker which allowed anyone to hack their PSP and put custom firmware on it. Also who actually cares about choice? really?

DrKill09
DrKill09

Good. Hope they win. Screw Microsoft.

green_dominator
green_dominator

Now that Microsoft released the update that allows USB flash drives to store game saves this whole issue no longer matters.... Maybe Datel should go into the flash drive market, I honestly don't think third party controllers sell anymore....Do They??

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Patent Law is such a complete joke. Really anytime someone reverse engineers a product in order to make it cheaper and thus create a market for themselves should auto-fail.

Hanzoadam
Hanzoadam

Happy to hear Microsoft lost, I like the Small guy to win and I don't like how Microsoft are so money grabbing.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Sins-of-Mosin Sure, Microsoft can drag their feet for supporting the Datel devices. However, they will still owe Datel damages, which will make up for it. @The_crapgamer You, sir are misinformed. _

Batzy79
Batzy79

@ps3freak three words: spell check & grammer. learn them, and use them please

The_crapgamer
The_crapgamer

@ ps3freek You don't think Sony has had any lawsuits filed against them? Of course they have. In business and life sometimes things happen, people feel they were entitled to one thing or another. To say the only thing Microsoft has done good or right was the original Xbox is a faulty line of thinking. MS has helped to make operating systems and technology to help everyone and that everyone uses. If it weren't for MS, there would be no Apple, seeing as how the creator of that company used to be in Microsoft. It's all relative. I mean the XBOX 360 is doing so well for a reason. People like it. Any hardware or piece of technology is going to come with a failure rate, from a TV to a DVD player. Microsoft doesn't have the market on faulty products. That would be like is someone said, Sony sure screwed up, the only thing they ever did good was the PS2. I mean, sure it's a more accurate statement, but it would fail to include the PS1. So we will wait and see what happens with this and I'm guessing not much, seeing as how it's MS own product and they have the right to lock out whatever they want. I mean can linux sue Sony for locking out that OS on the PS3? Nope. Same difference here.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

@ Sins-of-Mosin well at the time you couldn't use USB with your xbox but datel are always pretty quick they've probally got a whole selection of USB sticks on sale that are cheaper and larger then microsofts I'm personaly still using the 20g HD that came with my xbox I've been wanting to upgrade it for quite a while now but I refuse to pay for those "official" HDs since they are so overpriced (plus the age and time I got mine I'm suprised it's still alive waiting for it to die so I can get an elite lol) Go datel!!

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

Good job ps3freek, that made perfect sense.

ps3freek
ps3freek

realy i wana know y does these stuff alwayse happen to microsoft . in theys lawsuit history microsoft ( bill gates ) alwayse coming up with something wrong in my oppenion the only good thing microsoft did is the xbox original dont tell about the 360 it sucks man i know people that have rrod and ther sick of spending money on this console for nothing and also for the online that is not free there sick of this **** up service ya oneother thing microsofft did well in the industry is that there windows.

atopp399
atopp399

This is like saying you can only use batteries or oil sold by Ford in a Ford car. Datel will win if what is written is actually true and there isn't anything being left out.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Memory cards are dead. Hard drive or usb is the only logical choices. And even if Datel wins, MS can just drag their feet in supporting their devices again. Datel needs to expand their business and not rely on just one source of income.

scotwolf
scotwolf

i hope datel win. reason being is customer choice. and i do not have a grudge against microsoft. at least if 3rd party manufacturers such as datel can make memory cards/controllers/headsets etc we have a choice. usually the 3rd party stuff is cheaper which helps a lot of people, not veryone can afford official stuff especially when its very overpriced like 360 items are. and 3rd party controllers etc have been around from companies like datel for years, i can remember 3rd party controllers for megadrive and snes, memory cards for dreamcast and gamecube etc some of which i have used and still do on my old consoles. its all boils down to customer choice, the more choice and competition the better, the more competition the better the prices which is good news for all gamers

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

Microsoft has been charging bull prices from the start. Now they are trying to monopolize peripherals too? I don't think so... As soon as Datel wins I'm going out to buy something they make

jpsaply
jpsaply

I hope Datel wins. I am so tired of MS trying to lock everything down on there product and charge such an expensive price. Take for instance the hardrive. If you want a bigger one you have to buy a MS Xbox 360 drive because of the way its built and patented and its largest is what, 250 gigs. But PS3 you can buy a computer hardrive, of just about any capacity, with the fraction of the price. Someone needs to knock the greed out of MS. GO DATEL!

The_crapgamer
The_crapgamer

It's MS product, they can shut who they want out really. I guess we'll see how it plays out.

jimbo913
jimbo913

I support Datel on this, but am curious now that they have opened up the console for USB use. I wonder if this was done as a preemptive move. I mean, M$ can now say... "what are you talking about, you can use USBs."

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

I don't see why Microsoft is getting in trouble for this, the product is unlicensed and Datel went into the business knowing that and after all, if Apple gets to kill any unlicensed addons or programs for the Ipad/Iphone why can't Microsoft do the same thing? Besides Microsoft just opened up the memory unit business to 3rd parties when it enabled support for USB thumb drives so if Datel really wanted to they could just release a Datel branded thumb stick and be back in business.

Darth-Sifh
Darth-Sifh

I hope Datel wins. If Microsoft wins it could set up some scary precidents about how tech is handled in the future.

JHG6784
JHG6784

generally i'm anti-lawsuits but this one seems pretty strong and justify i hope datel wins.

kamizuka
kamizuka

i hope Datel wins because it is gonna make the console better for us, but if the cosole becomes better it means less money for M$

ferrustaurus
ferrustaurus

That's why I got rid of my xbox 360, they want to charge you for every little thing you do on the system. Especially when as you look at more games are being developed with a large online component, which for 360 owners requires them to first have a good internet connection, and second pay for the online subscription. After reading this article, I won't think twice again about trading in my 360, for the fun I had with it, it was rediculous that to do anything on an expensive system with expensive games, I had to pay more money to play the game fully.

steelmouth
steelmouth

i dont know if ms got bad lawyers or its the case of people siding with the small guy because ms never wins any antitrust case let alone any case at all

malverick
malverick

@Melty3219 - That's not the point. Consumers should have the right to decide whether to buy so called "inferior" memory cards from Datel if they want to...Microsoft shouldn't make the choice for the consumer.

melty3219
melty3219

Datel fail, they make garbage hardware and I wouldn't trust any third party hardware especially for something as important as memory. I hope Microsoft win this one even if their memory cards are overpriced.

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

Microsoft is abusing their position by not giving the consumers any alternative choices for their hardware peripherals, that itself if against free enterprise market. Their hard drive prices are clue enough of how brazen their behavior is regarding gouging their costumers. Imagine is the same situation happened in the car industry with the after parts market.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

I'm fine with them banning 3rd party software, but banning 3rd party hardware is just cheap. For the price of a X360 HDD, you could get a PC HDD with 3x as much space. Damn cheapskate microsoft.

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

You wanna play monopoly with microsoft, then every time you pass GO you better pay up 200 dollars

EtherTwilight
EtherTwilight

Haha, agreed! It just seemed that you were insinuating that Datel's claim was unfounded, especially given the most recent Xbox update.

IWKYB
IWKYB

@EtherTwilight I wasn't defending MS or anything. I was just stating that MS made a dick move.

EtherTwilight
EtherTwilight

@IWKYB: You can read in the article that this lawsuit began in November. That update was very recent. So, Datel still has to contend with essentially six months loss of sales for these products - an especially harsh blow as it was over the holiday season, mind you! - plus legal fees. Not to mention the customer backlash that I'm certain they had to deal with. No matter how much you try to explain to some people that it's entirely out of your hands, they'll still view it as being your fault.

Beawolf
Beawolf

Good i hope microsoft looses. Unfair business practices should be dealt with like a dog with rabis.

IWKYB
IWKYB

This is why we can now used flash drives on our 360's...Datel is way out of their league.