Nintendo Wins Appeal Over Motion Controller

Nintendo Wins Appeal Over Motion Controller

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Nintendo has managed to reverse a court ruling that could have removed many of its controllers from the market.

In May, 2008 Nintendo lost a case filed by a small, Texas-based company called Anascape, which claimed that Nintendo's Wii Classic, Wavebird and GameCube controllers violated the company's patent. Nintendo was ordered to pay $21 million and stop using the technology. Today, the US Federal Court of Appeals reversed the decision, overturning the initial ruling handed down by the Texas district court.

Anascape took both Nintendo and Microsoft to court in 2006, seeking damages and hoping to force the controllers that it claimed violated its patents to either be pulled from circulation or for royalties to be paid. The patents covered a range of controller technology including analog sensors, feedback and vibration mechanisms. While Microsoft settled outside of court, Nintendo decided to fight.

The fact that Anascape doesn't actually manufacture any products that make use of the patents, combined with the fact that the patents it holds are for technology such as "Game controller with analog pressure sensor" and "Analog controls housed with electronic displays" - technology commonly used in most gaming consoles - perhaps had some bearing on the Federal Court's decision to grant Nintendo's appeal.

Source: Yahoo via GoNintendo

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Well, thats a good win for Nintendo.

I could only imagine how much they might have lost if it had gone the other way...

Damn patent trolls...

the lesson here is: If you are sued in Texas, keep escalating your case till it gets to a court outside Texas.

Woo-hoo. Another victory for Nintendo

Score 1 for Nintendo!

Score one for common sense!

As much as I like to root for the little guy, the patent system in the US is beyond silly. Patent sitting shysters need taking down a peg or fifty, nevermind the ones who patent things that already exist and they didn't invent...

Cousin_IT:
the lesson here is: If you are sued in Texas, keep escalating your case till it gets to a court outside Texas.

Texas is notorious for helping out "the little guy" in court cases sadly, doesn't help much that we also have some crazies who also think Texas is an independent nation.

As much a win as this apparently is for Nintendo, I'm curious about the need for it? Can a company now hold a copyright on the very shape of a controller? I think that's total bullshit. If you want to have some intellectual property over the game content, I can go for that, but the device that you hold and press buttons to interact with it? No.

Microsoft settles and Nintendo fights then wins. There's a joke in there somewhere.

Another point in Nintendo's favor and a lashing for the trolls trying to leech off Nintendo.

Cousin_IT:
the lesson here is: If you are sued in Texas, keep escalating your case till it gets to a court outside Texas.

Ha! Precisely my friend. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas, especially their idiocy. It's not all that odd to see a lawsuit like this though because people are always looking for easy money. I personally don't think they have any grounds for the suit whatsoever, since the features were so baseline.

I mean what's next? A company suing because another company has buttons, and an analog stick? GTFO.

Wow, the fact that they won the first one surprises me. By there logic I should just make a bunch of patents of technology that may exist some day and after it becomes common I'll start handing out court orders.

you dont f*ck with Nintendo, their the disney of video games

I'm patenting Deuterium fusion now, in about 50 years I'll be rich I tell you! Rich as a freaking Nazi! :p

Good.
Im glad Nintendo didnt back down.

Austin, will you please tell us why the appeal was up held by the court as soon as you find out?

Yay for Nintendo. I guess... I do wish there were less patent trolls. *glares at Tim Langdell*

Damn the US patent system needs an overhaul badly, oh well at least courts are showing some damn common sense lately, what with the biotech patents being overturned recently as well.

**Leaves to put a patent on the plastic container**

Seriously though, you shouldn't be able to put a patent on something you never even drew up plans for. If you don't manufacture it that's fine, cause it's only a loss of your money. But to put a patent on "multicolored vibrating piece of plastic" and then sue everything from the video game industry to the porn industry is just greedy. I hope the courts end up making them pay for the entire case with the money they took from Microsoft.

From the article, it isn't clear what they are saying that Microsoft or Nintendo did to cause the lawsuit. If you just throw out a blanket complaint that they are using patented ideas and going after two of the bigger video game system makers seemed like kind of a dick move. I have never heard of the plantiff company before, so that should say something. Either way, MS was stupid not to fight it considering they've got just as much money if not more than Nintendo... I guess they were worried they'd end up on the losing side of the fight.

For great justice!

This is as bad as when apple patented the 'edge to edge' touch pad. It's just utter garbage.

EDIT: I'm guessing Microsoft settled to stop press. People tend to rally around Nintendo (Or ignore it if they are not gamers), while the general populous seems to think Microsoft should lose everything simply because they have the most bloated wallet on earth.

GodKlown:
From the article, it isn't clear what they are saying that Microsoft or Nintendo did to cause the lawsuit. If you just throw out a blanket complaint that they are using patented ideas and going after two of the bigger video game system makers seemed like kind of a dick move. I have never heard of the plantiff company before, so that should say something. Either way, MS was stupid not to fight it considering they've got just as much money if not more than Nintendo... I guess they were worried they'd end up on the losing side of the fight.

It's a fairly common tactic nowadays: Someone will buy a patent and go after a company that's created something using whatever the patent covers. As court costs can be huge (generally in the millions), more often than not, they'll throw money at the plaintiff to make the problem go away: a payoff is usually cheaper than a court date.

It's a pretty dirty trick.

Commander Breetai:
It's a fairly common tactic nowadays: Someone will buy a patent and go after a company that's created something using whatever the patent covers. As court costs can be huge (generally in the millions), more often than not, they'll throw money at the plaintiff to make the problem go away: a payoff is usually cheaper than a court date.

It's a pretty dirty trick.

Makes me wonder why more people sued that way don't file countersuits that would force the suit-bringer to pay all the court costs if they lost. Granted, I don't know much about how the law works in that regard, so it may not even be a legal tactic, but it would seem that more people might actually fight the stupid lawsuits, and in turn discourage people from filing them, if their ability to win brought with it the ability to get back the cost of fighting off the suit.

While we're at it, I don't think trial lawyers should get payment even one penny higher than what their clients receive. Might also do something to fight off stupid lawsuits.

I always had a problem with the incredible vagueness they put in technology patents (or patent language in general). And moreso the ability to buy patents.

Well that is good. Is there any official mention of when Wavebirds will come back to the stores? Or has Nintendo given up on making them completely by now?

Why hand out patents that won't be enforced in the first place, I wonder?

"Why would Microsoft settle, and Nintendo fight?"

Simple answer really. Since Microsoft is a U.S. Company, seen as a monopoly, with a marketshare in more than just videogames, with a CEO who makes enough in a single day to purchase an island, they're used to the american way of business. Toss around enough money and you can get anyone to shut up. Microsoft is already seen as an evil corporation by many, and go through this kind of thing constantly. The less bad press for them the better.

Nintendo has been around forever. Games are their livelihood. As stated by Zombie711 they are the "Disney of video games". They have a deep, multinational following rich in nostalgia. And they know BS when they see it. I am VERY glad Nintendo won this because it shows one thing. When it comes to business, you don't fuck with the Japanese. (Notice how they didn't even try to go after Sony?)

Makes me remember that whole issue about another patent squatter going after World of Warcraft for stake in their "interactive social environment in a simulated 3D world" technology...

 

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