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Judge says Xbox doesn't infringe Google patent

In a ruling that reverses his earlier decision, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge says Microsoft did not infringe a patent owned by Google unit Motorola.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read

A U.S. International Trade Commission judge has decided that Microsoft's Xbox doesn't infringe on a patent held by Motorola Mobility, reversing his original decision.

Judge David Shaw filed his findings today, Bloomberg reported. The ITC will now review Shaw's findings and make a final determination July 23.

The case began in November 2010 when Motorola,now owned by Google, sued Microsoft over wireless and video coding patents that Motorola said were used in the Xbox and in Microsoft smartphones.

Shaw initially ruled, in May, that Microsoft's Xbox 360 S video game console did infringe Motorola's parents and should be banned from import into the U.S. But the commission sent the case back to Shaw and told him to reconsider while keeping in mind a new precedent set by an unrelated case.

The case started out focused on five patents, but two patents expired this year and then Google decided to drop two other patents from the suit because they were considered industry standards. The company didn't back down on the remaining patent, however, contending that it covers technology involved in how the Xbox and accessories communicate.

"We are disappointed with today's determination and look forward to the full commission's review," Google spokesman Matt Kallman said in a statement to CNET.

Microsoft, of course, is happy with today's decision.

"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," David Howard, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, said in a statement today. "The ITC has already terminated its investigation on the other four patents originally asserted by Motorola against Microsoft."