The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a second ruling in favor of Microsoft in a patent infringement suit brought by Google and Motorola against technology used by the company on its Xbox console.
In the initial ruling, Microsoft was found to have violated the patents in question, but the investigation was remanded to an administrative law judge last June. The commission is set to issue a final ruling on the case this July.
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David Howard, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, released the following statement in response to the good news:
We are pleased with the Administrative Law Judge’s finding that Microsoft did not violate Motorola’s patent and are confident that this determination will be affirmed by the Commission. The ITC has already terminated its investigation on the other four patents originally asserted by Motorola against Microsoft.
Earlier this year, Google removed two patents from Motorola’s ITC complaint against Microsoft. The patents were essential to standards, and Google had come under investigation for potentially wielding them improperly in legislation after licensing terms couldn’t be reached. The Federal Trade Commission ordered Google in January to stop pursuing injunctions against willing licensees of Motorola’s standards essential patents.
Xbox shipments would have been endangered had the ITC found Microsoft guilty of infringement, as the agency has the power to issue import bans on products.
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