Xbox 360 Subject to Sales Ban
The Xbox 360 was released way back in November 2005, but now, after six and a half years of being on the shelves it faces a sales ban. The console may have survived being plagued by the RROD hardware failure in its early days, but now it may be brought down by the law.
Motorola claim that Microsoft has violated a number of their patents by using WIFI and video decoders in the 360 without permission. The console has already been banned in Germany where Judges ruled in favour of Motorola. This happened at the very beginning of May and I am surprised at how quietly the news has been reported.
The focus of the sales ban is now in the USA where Judge David Shaw has also supported Motorola. As a result of his ruling, the case is being taken to the International Trade Commission, and if they also support Motorola’s claim, then the White House will have the final say on the matter. The case will not be heard by the International Trade Commission until August, so the next few months could be very worrisome for Microsoft.
If a sales ban is carried out in the USA as well as in Germany, then it is probable that we can expect bans in other countries to follow. The Xbox 360’s life cycle is drawing to a close with the release of the Xbox 720, but this could result in a very ignoble end for the console.
While I agree that Microsoft’s patent infringement is wrong, I think that sales bans are not the right way to address the issue. Surely a monetary fine should suffice? In the current economic climate where video games are one of the few areas that continue to see success, removing a major console can only be detrimental to the economy. According to Judge David Shaw though, “Enforcing intellectual property rights outweighs any potential economic impact on video game console buyers”.
I’m hoping for a happy end for this case, what do you all think?