A few weeks ago a judge ruled against Microsoft in a patent dispute with Motorola, basically saying Microsoft Xbox 360 had infringed on a number of Motorola patents. The big one being that the wireless device inside the slim 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 models infringed on a Motorola patent. The Xbox 360 was already banned from import and sale in Germany earlier this month until a Federal Judge at the last minute upheld the ban until a later date.
However, now Judge David Shaw of the International Trade Commission is recommending all Xbox 360s be banned from import into the United States and unsold quantities of Xbox 360s be barred from sale in the United States as well. Microsoft argued that this would hurt the consumer as having only two other consoles on the market PlayStation 3 or the Nintendo Wii. Shaw threw this argument out stating that Sony and Nintendo could carry the slack.
Judge David Shaw said:
“Enforcing intellectual property rights outweighs any potential economic impact on video game console buyers,”
If the ITC (International Trade Commission) agree with Shaw the decision will make one final stop at President Barack Obama and his advisers who will have the final say.
It is hard to say how this will go but Microsoft could be in a bit of trouble here if the ITC agree with Shaw, and it would be very interesting to see if President Obama would ban the Xbox 360 in an election year. If I was Microsoft I would be proactive and announce the Xbox 720 at E3 and try to hurry the thing into production maybe sooner than expected.
That way sales of the Xbox 360 would decrease anyway because once the new system is announced the previous systems always drop in sales while people wait for the next generation. But honestly I don’t know if Microsoft is smart enough to do something like this.