Both the 4GB and 250GB Xbox 360 S models were recommended for a trade ban in the US this week by International Trade Commission judge David Shaw. Said recommendation came several weeks after Shaw ruled in favor of Motorola
in a case alleging Microsoft violated several patents held by the mobile phone manufacturer, ranging from Wi-Fi technology to video patents.
The recommendation alone doesn't ban the import of the two console models – a panel of six judges on the ITC board will review Shaw's recommendation and decide whether it should be made into law. Florian Mueller of patent site Foss Patents
told GamesIndustry International
that it's unlikely Shaw's recommendation will make it past its current point. "Unlike judges at courts, ITC judges don't make the decisions: they merely recommend them. Their recommendations are very frequently not adopted by the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the ITC," he said.
Moreover, Mueller pointed out that he's "never seen an ITC judge make any other recommendation than an exclusion order [the import ban in question] if his initial determination is that there is a violation." And given Shaw's initial determination earlier this year that Microsoft was in violation of Motorola's patents, today's news is actually "normal course of business," said Mueller.