Philips Demands Bans on Wii Products
On Friday, England and Wales High Court ruled that Nintendo infringed on motion sensor patents created by the Philips company, makers of the infamous CD-I system.
The patents in question relate to “a hand held pointing device used to control electrical apparatus,” “devices with a camera and a physical motion sensor working with a computer system and a pointing device,” and “gesture analysis…based on the motion trajectory of the device” that can be used in collaboration with a gaming device. This brings Nintendo’s Wii products (Wii, Wii U, Wii Mini, and several controllers) into hot legal waters. Wii Tennis was used as an example of a Nintendo product using technology described in these patents.
Philips also claims Nintendo infringed on their patents in a “deliberate and willful” way by teaching players how to use these devices that Nintendo knew infringed on these patents, and indeed, the courts found Nintendo to be infringing on two of Philips’ patents. Philips has requested a jury trial seeking damages, and is demanding a halt on U.S. imports and sales of Wii related devices. As of yet there is no ruling on whether this ban will go forward.
A Nintendo representative says the company plans to appeal the decision.
“Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others,” the representative commented. “Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software, and accessories and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business.”
This is another patent lawsuit loss for Nintendo, as last year a jury ruled that Nintendo’s 3DS violated patents by former Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita. He was initially awarded $30.2 million in damages, but the damages were later cut in half.