ITC judge rules in Microsoft's favour in Xbox-related Google patent case

A US trade judge has found in favour of Microsoft in a contentious case involving its Xbox console and a patent held by Google’s Motorola Mobility unit.

The patent infringement allegation relates to a technology used by the Xbox to communicate with its accessories.

US International Trade Commission Judge David Shaw cleared Microsoft in a brief one-paragraph memo, but his findings will be reviewed by the commission’s other members. The ITC is the US regulatory body that can issue sales and import bans on infringing products.

The original complaint was filed by Motorola with the ITC in November 2010, before the mobile firm was taken over by Google. The case was widely considered to have been a response to Microsoft’s ActiveSync patent case against Android and originally included five patents, four of which were subsequently dropped from the suit.

“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,” said Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel David Howard.

Google can request that the commission strike the judge’s ruling and issue a ban on Xbox consoles.

“We are disappointed with today’s determination and look forward to the full Commission’s review,” said Google spokesman Matt Kallman.