An administrative law judge has recommended that the International Trade Commission ban importation of some Microsoft Xbox gaming consoles into the United States because they infringe on Motorola patents.
If implemented, the ban would be limited to the 4GB and 250GB versions of the Xbox 360 S console.
Judge David Shaw also recommended that sale of the consoles be stopped with a cease-and-desist order, and that Microsoft post a bond equal to 7 percent of the declared value of unsold Xbox inventory already in the country.
Microsoft called the bond unnecessary, while Motorola argued for a bond worth 100 per cent of the declared value of unsold Xbox inventory.
The judge’s recommendation follows his April determination that Microsoft had infringed on four Motorola patents related to secure wireless communication and transmission of video content between controller devices and game consoles.
An importation ban is a bad idea as it would leave gamers with only two options to satisfy their needs: the Sony Playstation and the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft argued.
That argument was rejected, and Shaw suggested public interest in enforcing intellectual property rights outweighed any potential economic impact on console buyers.
Patent squabbles between the two tech giants began several years ago, when Microsoft claimed that Motorola refused to abide by requirements to set reasonable license fees for essential technology.
Earlier this month a federal judge in Seattle blocked an attempt by a judge in Germany to ban sales of several Microsoft products that the German court found infringed on Motorola's video-compression technology.
Should Shaw's determination and recommendation become final, President Barack Obama will have 60 days to review the decision, after which the ITC orders may only be challenged in the Court of Appeals.