I know what you are thinking, this isn’t an article about Nintendo. You are right, it isn’t…at least not directly.
In 2010, Motorola sued Microsoft for infringement of 16 patents. I won’t bore you with the details, however Motorola had requested that Microsoft cease using their patented technology and provide compensation for past infringement. Needless to say, Microsoft did not just write a blank check to Motorola, but instead decided to battle it out in court. Of course there is a lot more to the court battle. Microsoft has sued Motorola as well, so it seemed that the case would be tied up in the court system for years, or until one side gave in.
The court battle has been ongoing and it is look like Microsoft might not come out of this one victorious. In fact, it is looking really bad for Microsoft right now. International Trade Commission Judge David Shaw has suggested that the Xbox 360 should stop all imports and all existing consoles already in the US should be banned from further sales. This is a huge roadblock for a console that is posting stellar sales. This does not even take into consideration the fact that we are entering a crucial time of the year for the video game industry with E3 just around the corner.
Of course Microsoft disputed the potential banning of the system, however Judge Shaw had the following response to Microsoft’s dispute:
“enforcing intellectual property rights outweighs any potential economic impact on video game console buyers.”
As part of the judgement, Judge Shaw has stated that he wants imports of the 4GB and 250GB models stopped as soon as possible. If the judgement is enforced, President Obama and his officials will have 60 days to decide whether to allow the ban, or override the ban. Now, normally I would say that the judge has the final say in an issue such as this, however it is an election year, and a ban on Xbox could mean layoffs. This could get pretty ugly.
On a lighter side, a ban on the Xbox 360 could be huge fro the Wii U. With Microsoft out of the picture only Sony and Nintendo would remain. And with only one of the two pushing a new system, could we see Xbox fans jumping to Nintendo? I only ask because the rivalry between Sony and Xbox fans is pretty rough. What are your thoughts on the judgement?