Motorola Mobility Loses ITC Patent Infringement Case Against Microsoft's Xbox
Motorola Mobility has lost a patent infringement claim against
Microsoft before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
The case, which took 2.5 years to resolve, concerned patented technology
used in Microsoft's Xbox gaming consoles. On Thursday, Commissioners at
the U.S. ITC refused an appeal by Motorola Mobility to examine the
findings of ITC Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw that were
determined on March 22, 2013.
Shaw had found that Microsoft did not infringe a single patent held by
Motorola Mobility. The six Commissioners at the ITC agreed with the
administrative law judge's initial determination, including that "Motorola
failed to establish indirect infringement on the merits." They concluded
that the investigation was now "terminated" in a notice (PDF).
"This is a win for Xbox customers and confirms our view that Google had
no grounds to block our products," said David Howard, a Microsoft
corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, in a released
The case had started on Dec. 23, 2010 with infringement claims against
Microsoft concerning five of Motorola Mobility's patents. However, those
claims were whittled down to just one patent, namely U.S. Patent No. 6,069,896, which specifies a
peer-to-peer wireless invention. The dispute was actually between Google
and Microsoft, since Google bought Motorola Mobility about a year ago,
largely to boost its patent holdings.
Unlike some other legal tussles between Motorola Mobility and Microsoft,
this 896 patent wasn't a standard-essential patent. Microsoft last month deflected some of the costs sought by Motorola
Mobility in a standard-essential patent dispute concerning Xbox. That
case, convened at a U.S. district court, was separate from this ITC
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.