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A win for Motorola in the patent war against Microsoft

Motorola seems to be on the verge of winning the patent case against Microsoft.

Motorola has won an initial ruling against Microsoft in its patent war against the Redmond-based giant.

If the final ruling goes in favour of Motorola, Microsoft could be barred from importing or selling its patent-encumbered Xbox hardware.

Microsoft violating four out of five patents, ITC judge
According to a Bloomberg report, Motorola has been successful in convincing the judges today at the United States International Trade Commission that Microsoft is violating four out of its five patents.

Motorola Mobility Solutions had sued Microsoft over patent infringement of five of its key technologies used in the Xbox gaming system.

Two of the patents are concerned with the WiFi that Microsoft uses in the Xbox, and another two relate to the industry standard for video decoding. The fifth patent was about the way Xbox communicates with its accessories.

ITC Judge David Shaw ruled that the second patent about WiFI was not an example of infringement while one aspect of the video decoding patent was not valid. The six-member trade commission will be reviewing the decisions and taking a final stand in August later this year.

It all started back in 2010
Patent war between Motorola and Microsoft has been continuing unabated since November 2010.

Microsoft alleged that Motorola was unfairly overcharging royalties over patents concerning wireless technology and video decoding that the company used in its Xbox line of gaming systems and some of its smartphones.

Microsoft also claimed that it owned the technology currently used in Android smartphones and has been charging royalties from Android handset makers, including Samsung and HTC Corp.

If the final ruling goes in favour of Motorola, Microsoft could be barred from importing or selling its patent-encumbered Xbox hardware.

Not the one to sit back and watch the show, Motorola hit back by suing Microsoft for allegedly violating up to 16 patents that Microsoft used in its smartphones, Xbox systems and popular PC software.

Motorola is currently a powerhouse of patents, holding up to 17,000 patents. It comes as no surprise then that Google should decide to take over Motorola. One key advantage arising out of this acquisition for Google is an easy way out of the patent infringement jungle.

Motorola has been asking Microsoft for 2.25 percent in royalties for using its patents in its products. According to Microsoft, Motorola has not been fair in licensing its video-decoding patents, essentially violating fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND for short).

Motorola welcomed the news of the ruling, ad said in a statement that it was confident about the proceedings.

"We are pleased that the [administrative law judge]'s initial determination finds Microsoft to be in violation of Motorola Mobility's intellectual property. Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio, and we remain confident in our position," a Motorola spokesperson revealed.

On the other hand, a Microsoft spokesperson emphasized that this was only an initial ruling and that the Redmond-based giant is confident about winning this patent case.

Technology companies have increasingly been turning to the ITC to settle scores over patents. Decisions are taken much faster than a traditional district court, and bans can be imposed on the products of companies found to be violating patents.