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Legislators rally against possible Xbox 360 import ban

Legislators rally against possible Xbox 360 import banIt’s not typically that Congress argues in favor of online game consoles, nevertheless it seems all bets are off when the problem is patents.

Members of the U.S. Home of Representatives from each events have been writing letters to the Worldwide Commerce Fee, siding with Microsoft and others within the tech trade on the problem of standard-essential patents, and asking the ITC to cease in need of banning Xbox 360 imports in an ongoing patent dispute with Motorola.

In a sequence of disputes within the U.S. and overseas, Microsoft contends that Motorola is searching for unreasonable royalties for the usage of patented applied sciences that Motorola agreed to license on truthful and cheap phrases. The fits have taken on added significance following Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, pitting Microsoft vs. Google.

Florian Mueller of the FOSS Patents weblog has the full text of the letters from high-profile legislators together with Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, the committee’s rating member; and members of Washington state’s Congressional delegation.

The letters comply with a similar statement from the U.S. Federal Commerce Fee final week.

“An exclusion order primarily based on alleged infringement of Normal Important Patents creates a harmful precedent that may hurt innovation and the American financial system,” writes Issa in his letter. On this explicit case, he famous, excluding the the Xbox 360 would additionally “get rid of the one U.S. primarily based videogame console from a market.”

An ITC administrative regulation decide ruled previously that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 violates 4 Motorola patents and really useful a ban on the import of Xbox 360s so long as they proceed to infringe these patents.

“It has not been alleged or proven that Sony or Nintendo would fail to satisfy the demand for shopper video gaming consoles within the occasion that an exclusion order [was] issued,” wrote the decide, David Shaw, on the time.

Legislators from Motorola’s house state of Illinois have additionally weighed in on the problem, asking the ITC to return down on the facet of “vigorous” mental property safety.

In a blog post last week, Microsoft deputy normal counsel David Howard wrote that the system relies on the guarantees that firms make to requirements our bodies, “and when firms break them, the system breaks down. Prices go up and well-liked expertise merchandise change into much less accessible. This harms each the businesses that construct merchandise implementing these requirements and shoppers who depend upon these merchandise.”

Replace: Ars Technica notes that Apple, embroiled in its personal patent dispute with Motorola, additionally has written a letter supporting Microsoft’s place within the case.

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