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Activision, IBM oppose Xbox 360 import ban

Activision, IBM oppose Xbox 360 import ban

Both IBM and Activision have thrown their weight behind Microsoft in its patent dispute with Motorola, claiming it would impact their business if the recommended Xbox 360 import ban goes through.

Steve Watts

June 12, 2012 9:00 AM1

Two companies have stepped into Microsoft’s corner in its growing conflict against Motorola. Both IBM and Activision have made public submissions to the International Trade Commission (ITC), offering their firm opposition to a looming Xbox 360 import ban based on public interest and business concerns.

Patent news site FOSS Patents reports that IBM has submitted a statement saying it will “suffer commercial harm” if the ban goes through, since it developed and manufactures components used in the system. It also points out that Motorola doesn’t manufacture a product that directly competes with the Xbox 360. The company concludes that a ban “would frustrate the public interest by allowing Motorola to benefit from its refusal to negotiate with Microsoft in good faith.”

Activision, meanwhile, argues that it has “expended and continues to expend significant resources to develop video games and accessories specially adapted to operate on Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console.” The Activision letter also endorses the support given to Microsoft from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

These two are just the latest large corporations to show public support to Microsoft in this case. Others include Cisco, Intel, AT&T, HP, and Nokia.

Last month, Judge David Shaw recommended a cease-and-desist on sales of the Xbox 360 in the US, in light of a patent ruling in Motorola’s favor. Microsoft has alleged that Motorola demanded unreasonable licensing fees for its patents. The ITC has the option of letting Shaw’s recommendation stand, after which it would face presidential review and another appeal. We’ll have to see what impact these large companies have in throwing their collective weight behind Microsoft.

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