Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo Sued Over Joysticks

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo Sued Over Joysticks

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo sued by patent holder over use of joystick ports.

Fenner Investments, based in Richardson, Texas, has filed a lawsuit against all three of the major console manufacturers for infringing on Fenner's patent for a "low-voltage joystick port interface."

The patent, filed in 1998, describes controller ports: "The joystick port interface according the present invention is a low power port which interfaces a typical 5 Volt joystick peripheral device with a lower power computer port. The low-voltage joystick port interface includes a bidirectional buffer circuit and a pulse generator which, together, generate a digital pulse signal, representing a joystick coordinate position, based on an input analog measurement signal."

The lawsuit claims Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are "engaging, and will in the future continue to engage, in unauthorized conduct and activities that violate" the patent. Fenner is suing for damages, attorney's fees and court costs. No final financial charges have been announced.

A previous lawsuit filed against Juniper Networks, Nokia, Cisco, Alcatel and Ericsson by Fenner Investments over a patent involving "a method and apparatus for managing a communications network for mobile users" was dismissed last May.

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What in the hell does Fenner hope to acheive with these attacks; besides the extortion of money from other companies? Obviously they are just taking out patents so they can sue. With a name like "Fenner Investments" they arent any sort of manufactory or creator of such systems they have the patents for, and besides the patent filed in '98? Joysticks have been around forever! This kind of action makes me rather angry.

This is what happens when we abide by antiquated laws in the electronics industry.

If this makes you mad, look into why copyrights can last for over 100 years now.

Joe:
This is what happens when we abide by antiquated laws in the electronics industry.

If this makes you mad, look into why copyrights can last for over 100 years now.

That way we can be furious? Semi-on-topic note: Check out "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" It's a documentary on the MPAA rating system. I enjoyed it a lot, would be curious as to what the other side has to say in an equally charismatic method. But the parallels between the MPAA and other big business law that keeps a class distinction are there.

TomBeraha:
Check out "This Film Is Not Yet Rated"

Also on that note, read "Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and how it threatens Creativity" by Siva Vaidhyanathan. It digs pretty deep, but a great read.

Thaks for the recommendations guys will have to check those out. I can't imagine this lawsuit will go anywhere. I can't believe no one copyrighted the joystick design earlier, like say someone in the electronics industry. It seems kind of silly to me that you can patent a "concept", regardless of whether you have the means or know how to bring it into reality, especially after it has been around for quite sometime.

 

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