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Xbox 360 Subject to Sales Ban

Updated on May 24, 2012

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?

Should the Xbox 360 face a sales ban?

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    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California


      The Google purchase of Motorola sounds like its way of getting back at Microsoft.

      I also agree with you on the patents. Patent law needs to be more restrictive in giving patents. The patent office is too liberal in considering what is unique, and new.

      Putting a new dress on Barbie is not a unique or new, yet under tha current patent laws it could probably be issued a patent.

      The lifetime of a patent is far too long for technological devices and products. These patents should be for three to five years.

    • profile image

      Ghostwolfe 5 years ago

      Yeah makes a little sense as to why Motorola would go after microsoft after all these years. Google and Bing are in big competition with each other on the search engine side of things. This could turn out to be pretty ugly in the end.

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 5 years ago from NJ, USA

      The other interesting thing is that Google just bought Motorola...

    • profile image

      Ghostwolfe 5 years ago

      Funny thing is you don't hear of how Microsoft is going after Sony for using Windows OS on their PSN servers. Everyone wants to get something, the thing is most of these companies that are going after Microsoft are doing so even after they have all used some soft of the WINDOWS os in their phones and or in their other devices. Wouldn't it be a shame if the 360 got a sales ban and Microsoft pulled the plug on Motorola using WINDOWS OS for any of their devices? What would motorola do then?

      Though as Simey said this is not a big issue but on the side of Motorola it could prove bad even if MS settles with a payment I think more is going to come on the end of Motorola getting the plug pulled on their use of Microsoft programs.

      Good Hub, heard about this on Twitter this morning.

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 5 years ago from NJ, USA

      The problem I see is that patent law is stifling innovation. Microsoft, who essentially started all this when they licensed the OS are being caught just like many companies are. They all seem to steal from each other! You think they could all come to some sharing agreement that benefits all hardware companies and ultimately will benefit the consumer.

      I don't foresee this being a big issue - I'm sure that Microsoft already have a solution should they have to 'obey' the law, even if it's a simple settlement payment.....