U.S. Judge Says Microsoft Xbox Is Not Violating Google’s Patents

A U.S. trade judge said that the Microsoft Xbox video game console is not violating patents belonging to Google through the acquisition of Motorola Mobility. U.S. International Trade Commission Judge David Shaw sided with Microsoft in this case, but his decision is subject to review by a six-member commission.

The patent that was filed against the Xbox relates to the way that the console establishes communication with it’s accessories.  “We are pleased with the Administrative Law Judge’s finding that Microsoft did not violate Motorola’s patent and are confident that this determination will be affirmed by the Commission,” stated Microsoft corporate vice president David Howard in a statement.

This issue is all that is left in a case that originally included 5 patents.  Two of the patents involved widely used video decoding features.  Microsoft said that Google/Motorola was abusing patents to thwart competition.

Google will have the opportunity to petition the commission to overrule the judgement.  “We are disappointed with today’s determination and look forward to the full Commission’s review,” said Google spokesperson Matt Kallman in a statement.

Motorola Mobility filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission against Microsoft in November 2010 when they were a standalone company.  Motorola filed the complaint against Microsoft because of the royalties that they were demanding for the Google Android operating system from them.

Microsoft has set up licensing agreements with numerous companies that use the Android operating system by exercising a powerful patent that they have around ActiveSync technology, which lets users coordinate schedules between their phones and PCs.

Currently the Xbox gaming console is the most popular in the United States ahead of the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii.  Microsoft’s Entertainment unit generated around $9.6 billion in sales last year, which is 13% of the company’s overall revenue according to Bloomberg.

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