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ITC rules that Microsoft’s Xbox doesn’t infringe on Motorola Mobility patent

Had the ITC found otherwise, the Xbox could have been barred from being imported into the U.S.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) found on Thursday that Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox gaming system does not violate a Motorola Mobility patent (Motorola Mobility has been owned by Google since May 2012). This ruling means the gaming community very narrowly escaped becoming collateral damage in the ongoing patent wars—if the ITC had found that the Xbox was infringing, it could have barred its importation into the U.S.

This Xbox squabble was part of a larger patent war over smartphones that’s been raging between Microsoft, Apple and phone makers such as Motorola Mobility that use Google’s Android technology. In 2010, Motorola Mobility accused Microsoft of infringing on five patents. But only one remained by the ITC’s Thursday decision—the others were dropped in the interim. The patent in question dealt with wireless communication.

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