Xbox 360 violates Motorola Mobility patents, says judge

US International Trade Commission judge finds Microsoft's hardware infringes on patents cell phone pioneer has for video decoding, Wi-Fi connection, and console-to-accessory connections.

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The US regulatory commission with the ability to prevent Xbox 360 systems from being brought into the country has determined that Microsoft's console is violating a number of patents held by Motorola Mobility.

Time to brace for the coming patent apocalypse?

As reported by Bloomberg, a US International Trade Commission judge yesterday found that the Xbox 360 violates four of the cell phone pioneer's patents. The six-member commission will now review the judge's ruling and determine appropriate action to take. The commission has the authority to issue an import ban on products that infringe patents, which would prevent Microsoft from bringing new Xbox 360s into the country.

A settlement could render the commission's decision irrelevant, as Motorola Mobility told Bloomberg its complaint was only filed in retaliation for Microsoft's allegation that the cell phone maker's Android-powered devices stepped on Microsoft-owned patents. The Xbox 360 maker also sued Motorola Mobility alleging that the company went back on an agreement to make its patents available on fair terms. In that suit, Microsoft reportedly put the total cost of Motorola Mobility's 2.25 percent royalty fee demands at $4 billion a year.

"Today's recommendation by the administrative law judge is the first step in the process leading to the commission’s final ruling," Microsoft told the news service. "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."

The commission is expected to complete its investigation by August 23.

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