Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nintendo sued over patent infringements

Not a lot of detail available yet, but tech company Hillcrest Labs is suing Nintendo for patent infringement related to the Wii motion controllers, and is seeking to block the Wii's import into the U.S.

Hillcrest's patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,158,118, 7,262,760, and 7,414,611, which relate to a handheld three-dimensional pointing device, and U.S. Patent No. 7,139,983, which relates to a navigation interface display system that graphically organizes content for display on a television. Since 2001, Hillcrest Labs has pioneered technology that allows consumers to interact with digital media on television using motion-control and pointing techniques. The company holds 29 patents in this area worldwide, and has filled for more than 100 related patents.
Leading consumer electronics companies, not all of whom have been disclosed publicly, have already licensed Hillcrest's technology for use in their products. While Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights. Given the current status of the filings, the company will not disclose any additional details about the matter at this time.

Regardless of any other considerations, the plaintiff took their time before filing this suit. I wonder if the delay was due to the need to reverse engineer the Wii controller in order to identify whether or not their patents were infringed upon, or if they wanted to wait and see how much money would be on the table before bringing suit.

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1 comment:

Incindium said...

If Hillcrest Labs has any valid patent infringment claims on the Wii controller(I'm betting Nintendo owns some similar patents though) it'll just be a matter of Nintendo buying out the company or the patents. I don't see there actually being a real settlement there or the Wii's importing being stopped.