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Motorola row could stop Xbox 360 imports to the US, Germany

Court rules Microsoft has infringed four patents.

Imports of Xbox 360 units to the US could soon be halted after a judge ruled that Microsoft's consoles infringes four separate Motorola patents.

As reported by the BBC, the US telecommunications outfit's complaint relates to the Xbox 360's use of H.264 video compression and wi-fi connectivity.

A full panel will review the decision of the US International Trade Commission judge in August. If the decision stands and Microsoft doesn't settle, Motorola could theoretically force it to halt all US-bound Xbox 360 imports.

And things could get worse - the aforementioned infringements are just some of around 50 intellectual properties that Motorola claims the platform holder should have licensed. Microsoft reckons that if it were forced to pay up for all of those, the annual bill would total $4 billion, a figure that Motorola disputes.

Naturally, both parties think they'll emerge on top.

"Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio, and we remain confident in our position," said a Motorola spokesperson.

"We remain confident the commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft's favour," said a mouthpiece for the Xbox manufacturer.

Additionally, a German court meets on 2nd May to decide whether Motorola can order a ban on the distribution of Windows 7, Windows Media Player and the Xbox 360 in the country because of the H.264 dispute.

Microsoft has already moved its European distribution centre to the Netherlands to help minimise disruption should the court rule in Motorola's favour.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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