Sony, Nintendo Sued Over Controllers

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Sony, Nintendo Sued Over Controllers

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Sony and Nintendo have been sued by Copper Innovations Group, which claims the two companies are infringing upon its patent for a "Hand-Held Computer Input Apparatus and Method."

According to a GameSpot report, the patent in question revolves around "a method for connecting devices to a system and sorting their inputs by means of hardware identification numbers tied to each transmission." The suit claims Sony and Nintendo are violating the patent, filed in January 1996, by manufacturing and selling the Wii Remote, Wii Nunchuk, the PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Remote and Sixaxis controller.

The suit seeks damages with interest, as well as legal fees and an injunction against both companies preventing them from further infringing upon the patent.

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From Wikipedia:

35 U.S.C. § 103 describes the condition of patentability referred to as non-obviousness. This provides that a patentable invention must not have been obvious to a "person having ordinary skill in the art" in view of the appropriate prior art.

How else would you sort device inputs?

Luckily other controlers work through telepathy, so they're not violating that patent.

Wait...Hand-held computer input apparatus and method? That includes mice too. And the N64 controller. And the Atari 2600 Joystick. And...well, any input device, really. This could be an incredibly profitable lawsuit if the prosecutor was willing to expand their scope a bit.

Malygris:
The suit seeks damages with interest, as well as legal fees and an injunction against both companies preventing them from further infringing upon the patent.

I guess Nintendo and Sony will have to recall all of their controllers and replace them with delicious, fresh-baked hams.

What about Microsoft? Of course, this is a frivolous lawsuit, but I'm curious as to why Microsoft is not being sued... anybody know?

I can't see this getting anywhere. I'm pretty sure both companies have been sued before about some patents somehow involving their controllers and nothing happened then. Copper innovations are just trying to get some money out of them. It also seems odd that this didn't occur earlier, considering the length of time both consoles have been on the market.

Echolocating:
What about Microsoft? Of course, this is a frivolous lawsuit, but I'm curious as to why Microsoft is not being sued... anybody know?

360 fanboys?

3 possibilities, as I see it, as to why MS isn't included:

1. Microsoft is behind the whole thing. GET OUT YOUR TIN FOIL HAT!

2. Microsoft is similarly infringing, and we will see the lawsuit expanded to include them, or a similar one launched, shortly.

3. Microsoft's implementation doesn't depend on unique hardware IDs, but dynamic addressing akin to DHCP. Thus, they're exempt. And sure, DHCP/IP depends somewhat on MAC addresses, but only during the handshake, and the rest of the time they're just identifying source and destination with IP.

REDPill357:

360 fanboys?

- That's a great idea! We'll surgically attach cables to 360 Fanboys and use *them* as controllers! :0 :D

Another controller lawsuit? Seriously, do people just go and patent things in hopes big name companies will pay out in the end? And why did it take 12 years before they said anything about it? Or for that matter, since the Wii and PS3 were released? Why are other wireless controllers exempt from the lawsuit? Why are other wireless devices exempt as well?

I believe it means controllers that use motion sensors.

WNxSajuukCor:
Another controller lawsuit? Seriously, do people just go and patent things in hopes big name companies will pay out in the end?

Yes, thats exactly what they do. Except its normally big name companies randomly patenting something they havn't developed. Then a smaller company comes along, makes the product, has some success, is sued by the big company and ends up being bought out by them.

Red Shadow:
Yes, thats exactly what they do. Except its normally big name companies randomly patenting something they havn't developed. Then a smaller company comes along, makes the product, has some success, is sued by the big company and ends up being bought out by them.

It's also frequently companies that barely qualify as companies, groups consisting mainly of investors and lawyers. They apply for patents like this one and then wait for some monster corporation to stumble close enough to be able to accuse infringement. Then it's payday!

It's a disgusting practice, and another symptom of how hopelessly fubar patent law is in this country.

Ian Dorsch:
......another symptom of how hopelessly fubar patent law is in this country.

This country? Seems pretty much the same everywhere. Also, there are a lot of people on the site from different countries and since no country is named in the article, I dont even know what "this country" is supposed to be.

someone wants money and is grasping at straws to get it

Easykill:
I believe it means controllers that use motion sensors.

From what I'm reading it means wireless controllers, that the transmission to the system has in front of it a hardware ID that allows the system to know what's what. But the patent itself is pretty vague enough to encompass other wireless devices as well from what I can surmise, unless other wireless products handle their wireless transmissions in a totally different matter.

Makes me wonder what Microsoft developed with their wireless products that makes them not mentioned here.

WNxSajuukCor:

Easykill:
I believe it means controllers that use motion sensors.

From what I'm reading it means wireless controllers, that the transmission to the system has in front of it a hardware ID that allows the system to know what's what. But the patent itself is pretty vague enough to encompass other wireless devices as well from what I can surmise, unless other wireless products handle their wireless transmissions in a totally different matter.

Makes me wonder what Microsoft developed with their wireless products that makes them not mentioned here.

id have to agree on the wireless thing but still there are wireless mice and have been other wireless controlers as well and if this law suit goes through nintendo is in big trouble the main selling point of the wii was its controler if they have to take back all those wii remotes my god its going to be a mess

Honestly what a load of bollocks, the electronics departments have been going for year because ppl have been defying patents and stealing eachothers ideas (look at the computer industry and games thenselves)

Next they lawsuit Sony, Microsoft, etc, for making turn on/shut off buttons that light up when pressed. Oh the epileptic people being hazarded by the sudden flashing mini-light (With no offense to people with epileptic problems).

Divinegon:
Next they lawsuit Sony, Microsoft, etc, for making turn on/shut off buttons that light up when pressed. Oh the epileptic people being hazarded by the sudden flashing mini-light (With no offense to people with epileptic problems).

Lawl soon Intel/AMD will be sued by IBM/Lenovo for making CPUs then well be stuck with crappy lenovos

totally FUBAR! Seriously, stupid little companys trying to make a buck, aint going to happen, im sure sony and Nintendo arnt daft enough to make this mistake.

Another failiure in the American Ambulance chasing Law system.

international patent law for teh fail.

Noticing that both companies being sued are Japanese companies, after all.

Corbineau:
international patent law for teh fail.

Noticing that both companies being sued are Japanese companies, after all.

This is because nukes aren't allowed anymore.

Easykill:

Ian Dorsch:
......another symptom of how hopelessly fubar patent law is in this country.

This country? Seems pretty much the same everywhere. Also, there are a lot of people on the site from different countries and since no country is named in the article, I dont even know what "this country" is supposed to be.

He means America. Lawsuits are their national hobby. The more frivolous , the better.

Red Shadow:
I can't see this getting anywhere. I'm pretty sure both companies have been sued before about some patents somehow involving their controllers and nothing happened then. Copper innovations are just trying to get some money out of them. It also seems odd that this didn't occur earlier, considering the length of time both consoles have been on the market.

Agreed, and as you say nothing will come of it. Why is everyone so sue-happy?

REDPill357:
360 fanboys?

Yeah, there to afraid of them to sue Microsoft.

Easykill:
This country? Seems pretty much the same everywhere. Also, there are a lot of people on the site from different countries and since no country is named in the article, I dont even know what "this country" is supposed to be.

Gamespot:
The latest dispute comes from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where Copper Innovations Group late last month filed suit against Nintendo and Sony for a patent it holds on a "Hand Held Computer Input Apparatus and Method."

Emphasis mine. "This country" is both my country of residence, the location of The Escapist/Themis Group and the country in which Sony and Nintendo were sued by Copper Innovations Group. That's what "this country" is supposed to be.

Personally, I've long thought that things should go back to where in order to get a patent, you need to provide a working prototype to the patent office.

I also tend to think that if you can't show reasonable efforts to develop and market the technology you've patented between the time of patent and the time of filing an infringement case, your patent should be revoked or transferred to the defendant company.

After all, the patent system was envisioned so that ideas could be shared while allowing the developer a time of exclusive production and development to profit from the idea. How it's implementend though seems to be to reward those with pie-in-the-sky ideas and a good legal team. We need to make the patent system work for inventors again instead of dreamers.

Wait, what?

Now why would they sue Sony, seeing as the PS3 was widely regarded by all as a flop...

Here's some thread necromacy: only because I can't stand when I hear about something like this and then never learn the outcome.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080515/ap_on_hi_te/nintendo_patent_dispute

Sorry for not having a link to a cool gamer site, but oh well. Long story short for those of you who don't feel like following links... Microsoft settled (surprise!) and Nintendo -lost- to the tune of 21M$.

Nothing about the aforementioned injunction though. I'd really hoped that most wii/gamecube controllers would be ripped off the market over this~ 'twould be madness.

Echolocating:
What about Microsoft? Of course, this is a frivolous lawsuit, but I'm curious as to why Microsoft is not being sued... anybody know?

Probably already been hushed up. Money goes a long way sometimes.

Oh yeah? Well, I'm suing all of them because I went back in time and patented the entire concept of these electronic devices.

Hello payday.

Aedrial:

Echolocating:
What about Microsoft? Of course, this is a frivolous lawsuit, but I'm curious as to why Microsoft is not being sued... anybody know?

Probably already been hushed up. Money goes a long way sometimes.

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Yup shame on you.

Echolocating:
What about Microsoft? Of course, this is a frivolous lawsuit, but I'm curious as to why Microsoft is not being sued... anybody know?

Well if this is about the motion control thing, than Natal has nothing you hold in your hand. But if its just controllers in general... Not a clue

Does this mean every company that sells a bluetooth device, can be sued by these guys?

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