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Activision backs Microsoft in Motorola patent dispute, opposing ban of Xbox 360

Activision Blizzard and IBM have weighed in on the ongoing patent usage tiff between Microsoft and Motorola that has seen one International Trade Commission judge recommend the banning of the Xbox 360 from sale in the U.S. Activision is unsurprisingly opposed to the band, noting that it would hurt the publisher’s sales.

FOSS Patents reported on Monday that the two companies submitted statements to the ITC opposing the Xbox 360 ban. IBM said that since the Xbox 360 “contain[s] components developed by, and a limited portion of which are manufactured by, IBM in the United States” the company will “suffer commercial harm” is the console is banned.

Activision meanwhile said that it “has expended and continues to expend significant resources to develop video games and accessories specially adapted to operate on Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console” and goes on to reiterate points made in the Entertainment Software Association’s statement opposing the ban.

Patents related to video encoding, Wi-Fi technology, and wireless communication technology held by Motorola are used in the Xbox 360. Motorola demands that Microsoft pay royalty fees that would cost up to $4 billion per year, while Microsoft contests that Motorola needs to offer these patents at a lower licensing rate as they represent industry standards. The ITC ruled in April that Microsoft does indeed violate Motorola’s patents with the Xbox 360 and a six-member commission is currently deciding whether or not the device should be banned in the U.S.

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