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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 statement.

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 dispute.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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