A U.S. International Trade Commission panel, which had been expected to issue a decision in August on whether to ban import of the Xbox, has remanded the Motorola vs. Microsoft case back to the judge that had initially determined that Microsoft had violated four Motorola patents, according to Reuters.
The ITC judge had made his initial determination in April. But it would take the full six-member commission to impose an import ban.
“The full commission said on Friday that it would send the case back to the judge for reconsideration. That reconsideration will likely take months,” Reuters reported.
Motorola, now a Google unit, had asked the ITC to prohibit Microsoft from importing Xboxes into the U.S. from Asia, where they are manufactured. Motorola contended that Microsoft infringed on Motorola’s patents involving technologies related to wireless standard and viewing video on the Internet.Three of the four Motorola patents that the ITC judge had deemed Microsoft as infringing upon are industry standard patents.
The FTC and European Commission are investigating whether Google’s Motorola unit is licensing its industry-standard patents on fair and reasonable terms, as it has agreed to do, according to Bloomberg.
[Update 5:11 p.m.: Microsoft issued a statement on the ITC panel’s decision today, saying:
Today’s decision by the Commission directs the judge to re-consider arguments made by Microsoft. In our view this should result in dismissal of Motorola’s entire case against the Xbox. On three patents the commission directed the judge to apply clear legal authority that should result in dismissal of those patents. In addition, the Commission directed the judge to consider whether certain contractual commitments made by Google should result in dismissal of the remaining patent.
Update 8:11 p.m.: Motorola sent a statement, saying: “We look forward to presenting these two cases identified by the commission and we remain confident in our position.”]