Microsoft turns down Motorola’s settlement offer, Xbox consoles and Motorola smartphones could be banned from the US

June 21, 2012
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The Motorola vs Microsoft legal battle is apparently approaching a most unwelcomed decision in the form of a possible import ban for a number of Motorola Android smartphones, as well as Microsoft Xbox game consoles in the United States.

This comes after Microsoft has turned down the latest settlement offer from Motorola (now under Google’s control). According to Microsoft, Motorola was willing to pay Microsoft 33 cents for each Android device they sell, while requesting to receive 2.25 percent off each Xbox, and 50 cents for each copy of Windows.

So, why are these two tech giants looking to gain royalties from each other? It’s all because of patents: Motorola owns patents for video and wireless technology used in the Xbox 360, while Microsoft owns patents for a tech called ActiveSync, which allows some Android devices to automatically sync calendars. Given that Microsoft has settled with all other major Android manufacturers that infringe on the ActiveSync patent, the decision to turn down the offer is considered by many as a direct attack to Google, although the official statement from Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez puts things in a slightly different perspective: “While we welcome any good faith settlement effort, it’s hard to apply that label to a demand that Microsoft pay royalties to Google far in excess of market rates, that refuses to license all the Microsoft patents infringed by Motorola, and that is promptly leaked to the press”.

The International Trade Comission has already recommended the ban of all infringing Android devices built by Motorola, as well as the ban of Xbox consoles until Microsoft and Motorola manage to resolve their legal issues. It sure looks like legal institutions have had about enough of the various patent disputes that keep arising between major tech companies, as we’ve seen in the Apple vs Motorola case.

How long will end-users have to wait before such companies turn back to innovation and real engineering instead of chasing royalties and banning devices? That’s a question no one can answer at this point, although you can feel free to tell us what you guys make of it in the comment section below!

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