The International Trade Commission in Washington is investigating a complaint by Motorola against Microsoft and will decide whether or not to ban imports of the Xbox 360 game console, Bloomberg reports.
We'd be shocked if the two sides didn't come to some sort of agreement to prevent that from happening, and this looks like a whole lot of legal posturing to us, but the fact that the dispute between these two companies has gone this far is troubling.
It all started when Microsoft filed a lawsuit in early November accusing Motorola of shenanigans with its patents used in the Xbox 360. According to Microsoft, Motorola breached contractual obligations made to standards organizations for "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions" for patents dealing with wireless and video-encoding technologies. Microsoft described the patent royalties as "wholly disproportionate to the royalty rate that its patents should command under any reasonable calculus."
Motorola quickly fired back with a lawsuit of its own, claiming its demand was a "fair offer" and Microsoft should quit bellyaching.
It's now the ITC's job to investigate the dispute, and it has the power to ban imports of products found to infringe on US patents.