Xbox 360 victorious at end of year-long Microsoft-versus-Motorola patent battle

xbox-360

When it comes to fighting back lawsuits related to the Xbox 360, Microsoft’s got a pretty spectacular track record. After more than a year of back and forth battling with Google’s Motorola, the International Trade Commission (ITC) officially cleared Microsoft of having infringed on Motorola-owned patents in the design of the Xbox 360. “It is held that a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act, as amended, has not occurred,” wrote ITC Judge David Shaw on Friday. Put another way: Motorola can take its proposed royalty fees and stuff them in an old Razr flip phone.

It all started back in 2012 when Motorola claimed that a number of Microsoft products infringed on five patents held by Motorola. The patents in question related to video encoding technology as well as ActiveSync tech, the apps in Microsoft products that let them sync with mobile phones and tablets. The Xbox 360 was one of the products that came under fire.

Microsoft didn’t deny that it used technology patented by Motorola, only that Motorola wasn’t allowing Microsoft to license said technology at a reasonable rate as dictated by FRAND commitments. Motorola instead wanted Microsoft to pay a 2.25-percent royalty fee on every Xbox 360 and other infringing Microsoft product sold, which would cost, according to Microsoft, about $4 billion per year.

It’s surprising that Shaw ultimately determined that the Xbox 360 wasn’t guilty of infringing on those precious patents. It was Shaw who suggested that the Xbox 360 be banned from sale in the United States until the matter was settled, even going so far as to say that Microsoft should be blocked from importing consoles from its Chinese manufacturers. A number of companies came to Microsoft’s defense, particularly Acitvision Blizzard, which was worried about how an Xbox ban might affect its Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 sales. (Seeing as how the majority of annual Call of Duty sales are on Xbox 360, the ban would have hurt CoD sales.)

Microsoft won a decisive victory in the battle against Motorola in December, though, preventing the Xbox 360 from getting banned in both the U.S. and Germany. Judge James Robart took Microsoft’s side, claiming that Motorola was demanding unreasonable licensing fees on FRAND-type tech. Now the matter is wholly settled.

Emerging Tech

A.I. finds non-infringing ways to copy drugs pharma spends billions developing

Researchers have demonstrated an artificial intelligence which can find new methods for producing existing pharmaceuticals in a way that doesn’t infringe on existing patents. Here's how.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?
Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.