In an unexpected turn of events Apple has stepped up in defense of Microsoft. Apple has joined a growing list of companies in opposition of Motorola’s request to ban imports of Xbox 360s to the U.S. and cease all sales of the console.

Motorola claims that the Xbox 360 infringes on five of the company’s patents relating to “secure wireless communication and transmission of video content between controller devices and game consoles.” Nokia, Intel, HP and Cisco have contacted the International Trade Commission asking it not to rule in Motorola’s favor.

In April a judge ruled that Microsoft’s hardware had violated the patents, and recommended that a commission chooses to ban the Xbox 360 console. A final decision is yet to be made. This case should mean very little to gamers, because Microsoft obviously has a backup plan in place, just in-case the commission rules in Motorola’s favor. However, the platform holder seems pretty confident that it will win in the end.

“Apple respectfully submits that any exclusion order directed against Microsoft would significantly undermine the standards-setting process and frustrate the purpose of FRAND,” said Mark Davis, an attorney representing Apple, in a letter to the ITC.

What makes these companies falling behind Microsoft so significant is the way it could affect any future cases they could bring against a company violating their patents. They are, effectively, giving up their ability to request a similar injunction by calling for this precedent be set on Microsoft’s behalf. A move we applaud as it inevitably protects the consumers and software manufacturers who have supported the Xbox 360 for years without knowledge of this contention. Ultimately, Motorola should be gracious in its victory and settle with Microsoft. Isn’t it all about the cash anyway?

What are your thoughts on the case?


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About Matthew Bennett

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Matt has only been covering the gaming world for a short while, but he’s eager to make his mark. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Find him on Twitter @mattyjb89