The International Trade Commission’s six-member deciding panel deferred judgment today on a patent dispute between Google’s Motorola Mobility and Microsoft, pushing the possibility of a ban on the Xbox 360 out of likelihood this year.
In April, Ars reported that ITC Administrative Law Judge David Shaw found Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming consoles to infringe on Motorola’s patents concerning video transmission and compression, as well as methods of enabling 802.11 WiFi. Judge Shaw recommended a ban on importing Xbox consoles to the US. From there, the ruling went to the ITC’s 6-member commission, who today ordered a remand of Judge Shaw’s decision, and asked him to continue his investigation with a new target date in mind.
After Judge Shaw’s initial decision, the FTC sent a memo saying that an Xbox ban could create considerable harm to consumers. Additionally, companies like Apple, Nokia, Intel, Cisco, and Activision; as well as a handful of Republican representatives, spoke out against the import ban, saying it would undermine the standards set for patents classified as requiring fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory(FRAND) licensing terms.
The final decision on an import ban was expected in August. But the ITC’s request to Judge Shaw to reconsider his decision will likely take months longer than expected and could well result in a more favorable decision for Microsoft.