Xbox 360 should be banned in US, says judge

[UPDATE] ITC judge recommends US import ban on 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 slim consoles amid ongoing patent dispute with Motorola; Microsoft confident board will rule in its favor.

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The ongoing legal dispute between Motorola Mobility and Microsoft could see some versions of the Xbox 360 banned in the United States. International Trade Commission judge David Shaw has recommended that the trade group ban the import of 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 S consoles, reports Courthouse News. These consoles are manufactured in China.

Shaw wants Xbox 360s banned from import to the United States.
Shaw wants Xbox 360s banned from import to the United States.

Sales of consoles already in the United States should be banned by a cease-and-desist order, Shaw says. On top of this, the judge recommends Microsoft pay Motorola 7 percent of the value of any unsold consoles in the US.

Microsoft argues that Shaw's order to ban the import of Xbox 360 consoles would hurt consumers, as it would leave interested buyers with only two options: the PlayStation 3 or the Nintendo Wii. Shaw rejected this assertion, noting the public interest in enforcing intellectual property rights trumps any "economical impact" on console buyers.

Should ITC commissioners agree with Shaw's recommendation, President Barack Obama and advisors will have 60 days to review the decision, the site reports. After this time, whatever is decided can be appealed.

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Microsoft representative told GameSpot that it is confident the ITC will rule in favor of Microsoft.

"The recommendation by the Administrative Law Judge is the first step in the process leading to the Commission's final ruling and has no immediate effect on the availability of Xbox 360 in the U.S.," reads a line from the statement. "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."

Last month, Shaw ruled that the Xbox 360 violated a string of patents Motorola holds for video decoding, Wi-Fi connection, and console-to-accessory connections. And earlier this month, a German court decision banned the sale of Xbox 360 consoles in that country, though it had no immediate effect, because Microsoft was granted a preliminary injunction.

The ITC is expected to conclude its investigation by August 23.

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