The legal tizzy between Motorola and Microsoft may spread over the US from Germany. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge David Shaw has recommended that 4 GB and 250 GB Xbox 360 Slim consoles be banned from US import, as these consoles are produced in China.
"Sales of consoles already in the United States should be banned by a cease-and-desist order," Shaw emphasized.
In addition, Shaw recommends that Microsoft pay Motorola 7% of the value of any unsold consoles in the US. Microsoft has argued that this order to ban the import would hurt consumers, as it would leave them with only two console gaming options. Shaw dismissed this notion, saying that enforcing intellectual property rights is more important than considering the "economical impact" on consumers.
If the ITC agrees with the recommendation, then it goes to President Obama and his advisors to review the decision within 60 days. After this time window, the decision can be appealed.
Considering that a Germany court already banned the sale of Xboxes in Germany and Shaw has already ruled that the Xbox violates Motorola's patents for video decoding, the future is not looking bright for the Xbox 360 Slim. The ITC is scheduled to finish its investigation by August 23 this year, so if you know someone hemming and hawing about getting an Xbox 360, now may be the time to buy. Or I suppose this could also light a fire under Microsoft's butt to get the next-gen console ready.