* ITC sends complaint against Microsoft back to judge
* Final decision had been due in August
WASHINGTON, June 29 A U.S. trade panel has
decided to defer a final ruling on a complaint filed by Google
unit Motorola Mobility accusing Microsoft of
infringing its patents to make its popular Xbox.
A judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in
April that Microsoft infringed four patents owned by Motorola
Mobility, now a Google unit, but did not infringe on a fifth
named in the complaint.
The full commission said on Friday that it would send the
case back to the judge for reconsideration. That reconsideration
will likely take months. A final decision in the case had been
expected in August.
Motorola Mobility, which was recently acquired by Google,
had asked for the infringing devices to be barred from
importation into the United States.
The ITC is a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it
can bar the importation of infringing products and because it
issues decisions relatively quickly.
Motorola Mobility had accused Microsoft of infringing on
patents for technology like wireless connection of the Xbox to
the Internet and technology for video compression to speed
Motorola Mobility has filed related lawsuits against
Microsoft in federal courts in Wisconsin and Florida. They are
stayed pending an ITC decision.
In a related case in Germany, a court in Mannheim ordered
Microsoft in early May to remove its popular Xbox gaming
consoles and Windows 7 operating system software from the German
Microsoft maintains it will not need to because a judge in
Seattle gave Microsoft a preliminary injunction against Motorola
Mobility to prevent enforcement of any German court order.
In a further development in the patent wars, U.S. antitrust
regulators are investigating whether Motorola Mobility is living
up to licensing commitments it made when its patents were
adopted as industry standards, sources said on Friday.
The International Trade Commission case is No. 337-752.