Nintendo Triumphs in Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Nintendo Triumphs in Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Wii Fit Plus box

Nintendo has come out on top of another Wii-related patent infringement lawsuit.

In 2010, Nintendo found itself at the wrong end of a patent infringement lawsuit brought by IA Labs, an "interactive fitness company," which claimed that the Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and other Wii peripherals infringed upon two of its patents. IA Labs further stated it had contacted Nintendo about the possible infringement in 2007 and had offered to license its technology to the game maker, but those overtures apparently went nowhere.

A judge dismissed the suit in 2012 and now the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld that ruling, presumably delivering final victory to Nintendo in the process. "We are very pleased with the court's decision," said Nintendo of America Deputy General Counsel Richard Medway. "Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We also vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the IA Labs lawsuit, when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party's patent."

The court also ordered IA Labs to pay more than $236,000 for Nintendo's legal fees - pocket change for an outfit like Nintendo, perhaps, but likely a more painful amount for a small fitness technology company in Maryland.

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Considering the way these cases usually go, it's probably generous to even call them a "fitness company." Smells like a patent troll just picked on the wrong billy goat, to me.

Holding a patent doesn't mean you gain exclusive rights over any and all similar technologies with parallel development. Sorry Maryland. Sucks for the underdog, but they were the ones that pressed the issue. If they'd shown that Nintendo used exactly the same tech as in their patent, they'd have surely won the case. Just because I patent a new rubber-soled, nylon-topped athletic shoe does not mean I get to sue Nike.

Seems like a patent troll picked on the wrong company to me....

Not like Reggie has time to deal with no patent trolls.

Like my prof told us many times in Game Design school; "Never go to court with Nintendo.."

Yeah looks like this patent troll came unstuck. You can't call foul on a technology that happens to have a similar concept as your own. We wouldn't have more than one manufacturer of car or smartphone or pretty much every other product otherwise.

I'm glad Nintendo won the lawsuit, but god-damn, practically $250,000 in damages? That's harsh.

Why was the case dismissed originally?

And does anyone know if the plantiff's patents were invalidated?

Chaosian:
I'm glad Nintendo won the lawsuit, but god-damn, practically $250,000 in damages? That's harsh.

Not harsh enough, tbh.

Patent trolls like these are one of the biggest problems plaguing IP laws to date. It's why the laws need to be rewritten so badly, so less of these frivolous lawsuits are around to waste valuable taxpayer dollars.

Good, suck a fat one, IA Labs.

Nice to see a lawsuit like this finally concluding in a rational manner.

Chaosian:
I'm glad Nintendo won the lawsuit, but god-damn, practically $250,000 in damages? That's harsh.

Well... It doesn't actually even appear to be that, because that implies you are paying for the harm you caused another.
Legal costs are not damages as such as far as I understand it.

So really, they got of pretty lightly if all they're having to pay is Nintendo's legal bills. (Not that a legal bill of that size is a laughing matter, but still).

 

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