U.K. Court: Wii Guilty of Patent Infringement Against Philips

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U.K. Court: Wii Guilty of Patent Infringement Against Philips

Nintendo Wii

The international electronics company claims it already holds a patent on technology used to recognize hand gestures and motion.

United Kingdom judge Colin Briss ruled today that Nintendo's Wii is actually infringing on two patents held by Dutch electronics company Philips for technologies related to recognizing hand gestures and motion. Nintendo is already seeking to appeal the decision and has said it believes the Philips patents are invalid, according to website Bloomberg. Stated Birss in his decision:

"The common general knowledge did not include a device combining a physical motion sensor with a camera and the reasons advanced by Nintendo for putting those two sensors together in one unit are unconvincing."

Philips also filed a third patent infringement claim against Nintendo, relating to modeling a body in a virtual environment. Judge Birss ruled that the House of N was not in violation of that patent.

An order on damages will be issued by Birss next month. Bloomberg notes that Philips is pursuing cases against Nintendo in other countries, including the U.S., where a lawsuit was filed last month, and Germany and France. Nintendo issued its own statement on the ruling, as reported by Bloomberg:

"Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others," the company said. "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."

It should be stated that this is far from the first Nintendo has had to deal with patent disputes. This past September, the International Trade Commission ruled that the Wii's controller did not violate a "magic wand" patent held by theme park operator Creative Kingdoms. Given that Philips is an international electronics company, though, this might be a bit more of a protracted fight for Nintendo.

Source: Bloomberg

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That seems more like a Kinect thing than a Wii thing. Not a fan of Nintendo right now but this doesn't apply to the Wii.

I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.

Philips, I liked you and respected you. I bought a bunch of your things! I went to a school that was full of more of your things! I liked your reliability and solid products! I trusted you! Philips... why are you doing this to me? D:

Looks like someone's still sour about the CD-i.

To be perfectly honest, patent issues like this seem really mean-spirited to me. Nintendo's already in a bit of a hole; I hope this doesn't put them in any further, 'cuz I love Nintendo and I want to see them do well.

PunkRex:
I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.

You do know that Philips actually invents things rather than just buying off the shelf like Nintendo does right? Patent rolls are company's that do NOT invent or make thinks Philips does both and this court case has been going on for years.

Has Philips actually released a product that in any way resembles the Wiimote, or are they just squatting on the relevant (?) patent?

Callate:
Has Philips actually released a product that in any way resembles the Wiimote, or are they just squatting on the relevant (?) patent?

I don't know, but its likely that the technology has been used to some degree in one of the thousands of products they manufacture or license.

flarty:
...but its likely that the technology has been used to some degree in one of the thousands of products they manufacture or license.

If so, then why has nobody ever heard of such a thing?

youji itami:

PunkRex:
I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.

You do know that Philips actually invents things rather than just buying off the shelf like Nintendo does right? Patent rolls are company's that do NOT invent or make thinks Philips does both and this court case has been going on for years.

Patent trolls are what they are, but it doesn't mean big legitimate companies can't play the same game. Patent trolls were more the early adopters, and now pretty much everyone does it.

The problem lies entirely with the patent system itself, but hey we wouldn't want all our lawyers going hungry or anything.

Callate:
Has Philips actually released a product that in any way resembles the Wiimote, or are they just squatting on the relevant (?) patent?

They did at one point, not sure if they ever got to market or sold in huge numbers even they did but they had TVs back in the day with a Wiimote style controller with an IR sensor etc that moved a mouse pointer on screen to control teletext and other functions and the CDi had something like that as well. They where even demonstrating the idea again recently where it had more functions with a smart TV, thats what this lawsuit is about in all likelihood.

Phillips wants to bring that back and then if they can firmly establish they own the patents for those type of controller already other companies might have to pay licencing fees to use it, which is one of Phillips main tactics. They make huge amounts of money licencing bits and pieces out. Easy and intuitive methods of control is one of the biggest problems with Smart TVs at the moment, if someone could make something thats precise, fast and intuitive as a Wiimote they would be in a strong position to earn revenue from every other TV that uses it through licence fees.

Pyrian:

flarty:
...but its likely that the technology has been used to some degree in one of the thousands of products they manufacture or license.

If so, then why has nobody ever heard of such a thing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWF3aIOPa9g

Apparently Philips warned them in 2011 regarding this patent. Would seem they just been waiting to have something to show for it before pursuing.

As for people saying why don't they sue Sony or Microsoft, well its very possible they are paying Philips royalties for this patent, and if that is the case then it puts Nintendo in a harder position to defend.

lacktheknack:
Philips, I liked you and respected you. I bought a bunch of your things! I went to a school that was full of more of your things! I liked your reliability and solid products! I trusted you! Philips... why are you doing this to me? D:

Blood in the water I think... They waited quite a while to spring this.

youji itami:

PunkRex:
I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.

You do know that Philips actually invents things rather than just buying off the shelf like Nintendo does right? Patent rolls are company's that do NOT invent or make thinks Philips does both and this court case has been going on for years.

Well obviously I didn't.

Seriously though, I can't see Nintendo straight up ripping off the tech considering just how popular they are, surely Philips would have been able to tell sooner. I'm just used to hearing about bullshit patents made by money grubbers, BUT, if Philips have indeed been ripped off then I retract my previous out blurb.

lacktheknack:
Philips, I liked you and respected you. I bought a bunch of your things! I went to a school that was full of more of your things! I liked your reliability and solid products! I trusted you! Philips... why are you doing this to me? D:

You mean to tell me that you haven't lost your faith in Philips before this?

What would this even mean though?

Nintendo is a Japanese Company that functions under Japanese Law.

Philips is a Company that is headquartered in the Netherlands.

And this whole thing is going on in the UK?

I mean I can't imagine that a UK Court could force a Japanese Company to fork over money to a Dutch Company. So what would it just mean that Wii Systems and possibly Wii U Systems would no longer be able to be sold in the UK?

This whole thing seems stupid anyway. Are you seriously telling me that a UK Judge is saying, "Okay yeah you guys have Carte Blanche on any and all Infrared Sensors used to move things on a screen. No one else gets them." How does any tech ever get invented over in the UK with Judges like this.

When are people gonna wake up and start protesting about how fucked up the patent system is? Can you imagine if the wheel was patented? How about hamburgers or hotdogs or icecream?

The patent system is only there to protect lazy rent seekers and deter innovations.

"Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others"

You don't say? I wonder what Seijiro Tomita has to say about that.

Not that I think Philips will win this case per se, just thought that quote needed a bit more context...

Uh... Phillips? I know someone out there probably has mentioned this to you... but, Microsoft is not Nintendo... The Kinect is not the Wii... Someone must have switched the "who to try to sue due to [a specific] patent" papers with the "who to question this time about [specific] patents" papers, I'm guessing...

RatherDull:
That seems more like a Kinect thing than a Wii thing. Not a fan of Nintendo right now but this doesn't apply to the Wii.

I'm in agreement. Since it was already tried as a 'wand' and clearly its uses are as a tool extended from hand, not 'hanf gestures', it would seem like the precident has already been made and these guys dunno what they're saying.

I hear a lot of people say that the patent system is mest up.
But can anyone realy say whats wronge?

Take this example,
Philips spent time an money developing this tech.
They are entitled to protect their investment.
(that is the basic idea of patents)

Nintendo is using the (semingly) same tech.
they..
a, stole it from philips knowingly
b, developed it them selfs but didn't check if it was already done.
c, it's diferent enough.

With a and b Philips has a legit claim.
C would probably need a courd ruling.

I think the main problem lies with companies that try to do C with the least effort posible.

SuperSuperSuperGuy:
Looks like someone's still sour about the CD-i.

To be perfectly honest, patent issues like this seem really mean-spirited to me. Nintendo's already in a bit of a hole; I hope this doesn't put them in any further, 'cuz I love Nintendo and I want to see them do well.

They're not in a hole. They have a metric fuckton of money, enough that I'm pretty sure Reggie just uses it as toilet paper at this point.

The reason people say that they're in "trouble" is because the Wii U is generating loss rather than profit, so of course they need to turn that around, which will probably happen following the positive press after E3.

Jeroenr:
I hear a lot of people say that the patent system is mest up.
But can anyone realy say whats wronge?

Take this example,
Philips spent time an money developing this tech.
They are entitled to protect their investment.
(that is the basic idea of patents)

Nintendo is using the (semingly) same tech.
they..
a, stole it from philips knowingly
b, developed it them selfs but didn't check if it was already done.
c, it's diferent enough.

With a and b Philips has a legit claim.
C would probably need a courd ruling.

I think the main problem lies with companies that try to do C with the least effort posible.

It's messed up because it's at a point where people patent extremely generic technology and terms. Surely you heard about the Candy Crush fiasco?

Things like Touchscreens have also been patented in the past. Apple also once tried to patent their page turning animation for the iPhone.

It's basically like you trying to make a chair, but then you get sued for a lot of money because unbeknownst to you, someone else already patented the technology of chair legs.

Dexterity:
It's messed up because it's at a point where people patent extremely generic technology and terms. Surely you heard about the Candy Crush fiasco?

Things like Touchscreens have also been patented in the past. Apple also once tried to patent their page turning animation for the iPhone.

It's basically like you trying to make a chair, but then you get sued for a lot of money because unbeknownst to you, someone else already patented the technology of chair legs.

Candy Crush was a copyright thing, that has nothing to do with patents. Patenting ideas without any concrete proofs of concept is only possible in the US, i.e. also not very relevant in this case. The claim is absolutely legitimate since Philip has sold numerous TVs with motion sensors, it's not like they're just sitting on a bunch of hypothetical patents that were never put into practice. Hence why they won.

Wait, Wii has a camera?

Dexterity:

It's basically like you trying to make a chair, but then you get sued for a lot of money because unbeknownst to you, someone else already patented the technology of chair legs.

If only there was some way you could research such a thing before going to market. If only virtually every government had some form of searchable database for this sort of thing, or Nintendo was a large enough company to be able to afford to do research before releasing.

I mean, these aren't new patents.

ExtraDebit:
Can you imagine if the wheel was patented?

You mean if, for a few years in human history, someone had exclusive rights to production of the wheel?

...No, I'm not seeing the problem.

Frozengale:
What would this even mean though?

Nintendo is a Japanese Company that functions under Japanese Law.

Philips is a Company that is headquartered in the Netherlands.

And this whole thing is going on in the UK?

Where both companies operate. They're doing this in multiple countries, too.

Staskala:

Candy Crush was a copyright thing, that has nothing to do with patents.

Trademark, not copyright. It's about a brand.

I hope Phillips cleans their clock.

Nintendo shouldn't get away with this.

I have to question why they waited until now to spring this instead of back in 2007 when the Wii launched. Also I've said it before and I'll say it again, patents should become invalid if the technology is not developed within a certain amount of time after the patent is filed.

What can't be patented? This is quite stinking of bullshit money grabbings. So no one can use motion sensors cos they called it first but did nothing with it...or mentioned it till recently? This is quite a high level of cuntishness, i guess a judge has no choice but to follow the rules of the runes, no matter how absurd.

Dexterity:

Jeroenr:
I hear a lot of people say that the patent system is mest up.
But can anyone realy say whats wronge?

Take this example,
Philips spent time an money developing this tech.
They are entitled to protect their investment.
(that is the basic idea of patents)

Nintendo is using the (semingly) same tech.
they..
a, stole it from philips knowingly
b, developed it them selfs but didn't check if it was already done.
c, it's diferent enough.

With a and b Philips has a legit claim.
C would probably need a courd ruling.

I think the main problem lies with companies that try to do C with the least effort posible.

It's messed up because it's at a point where people patent extremely generic technology and terms. Surely you heard about the Candy Crush fiasco?

Things like Touchscreens have also been patented in the past. Apple also once tried to patent their page turning animation for the iPhone.

It's basically like you trying to make a chair, but then you get sued for a lot of money because unbeknownst to you, someone else already patented the technology of chair legs.

If You neglected to check if they are patented or not, then yes they are within right to do so.
Just simpely checking could save day's in court.(and a lot of money)

Patents are intendent to protect against freeloading competiters.
For a large part the do their job well enough.

But software and concept patents on the other hand do miss the point completly.

anyway, patent disputes aren't not just from present day.
Remenber Alexander Graham Bell.

The Wii is 7+ years old, it hasn't even been Nintendo's current gen console in over a year. If Phillips was worried about Nintendo benefitting from their idea why did they wait until now, when Wiimotes are barely being used anymore, to speak up about it?

Zachary Amaranth:
Wait, Wii has a camera?

Every Wiimote has an infrared light camera that detects the 2 points of infrared light on the Wii sensor bar. That's how it knows where you're pointing it with such precision. It also has a gyroscope built into it for when it's not being aimed directly at the sensor bar, but it's less precise.

ExtraDebit:
Can you imagine if the wheel was patented?

You mean if, for a few years in human history, someone had exclusive rights to production of the wheel?

...No, I'm not seeing the problem.

Then you must be insane, the wheel has been used in virtually every form of transportation since nearly the dawn of civilization. If people couldn't produce wheels it would grind all the world's trade to a halt. TOf course nobody back then would have actually paid attention to such a nonsense claim as it would be utterly unenforceable.

Zachary Amaranth:

Frozengale:
What would this even mean though?

Nintendo is a Japanese Company that functions under Japanese Law.

Philips is a Company that is headquartered in the Netherlands.

And this whole thing is going on in the UK?

Where both companies operate. They're doing this in multiple countries, too.

Yes I understand that, that's why I'm asking about the implications of the thing. I'm saying that both companies are technically outside of the UK's jurisdiction, so I'm wondering what the UK court could even do. Which is also why I wonder if it will just mean the stopping of sales of Wii/Wii U in the UK.

Olas:

Every Wiimote has an infrared light camera that detects the 2 points of infrared light on the Wii sensor bar. That's how it knows where you're pointing it with such precision. It also has a gyroscope built into it for when it's not being aimed directly at the sensor bar, but it's less precise.

I'm familiar with the light sensors, but those aren't typically referred to as cameras and wouldn't apply to one of the patents supposedly infringed upon.

Then you must be insane, the wheel has been used in virtually every form of transportation since nearly the dawn of civilization. If people couldn't produce wheels it would grind all the world's trade to a halt. TOf course nobody back then would have actually paid attention to such a nonsense claim as it would be utterly unenforceable.

Err...Why am I insane again? You're not responding to what a patent actually would entail. Your reasoning here is that it would be a problem because everyone used them (which made this a bad example in the first place), but patents are time limited, so why is this a problem? And why is not being worried about it insane? The first inventor would have limited protection for a few years and then....Everyone could use it just like now.

Which brings up the more appropriate question of: so what? Do you understand how patents work? Do you think that the standard patent of 20 years would have had a monumental impact on a device that has existed for over six thousand years? And that's ignoring the notion it couldn't be enforced, which you have asserted but seems directly in opposition to the notion of the harm of patents.

Frozengale:

Yes I understand that, that's why I'm asking about the implications of the thing. I'm saying that both companies are technically outside of the UK's jurisdiction, so I'm wondering what the UK court could even do. Which is also why I wonder if it will just mean the stopping of sales of Wii/Wii U in the UK.

As long as they're doing business in the UK, they're beholden on a certain level. I mean, this won't affect sales of the Wii in other countries directly, but the patent ruling here may contribute to rulings on the suits in other countries. But they're ruling as it pertains specifically to the UK.

Xsjadoblayde:
What can't be patented? This is quite stinking of bullshit money grabbings. So no one can use motion sensors cos they called it first but did nothing with it...or mentioned it till recently? This is quite a high level of cuntishness, i guess a judge has no choice but to follow the rules of the runes, no matter how absurd.

Well, no.

People can use motion sensors. They are limited in the way they are implemented by this patent and others, including patents held by Nintendo (are they money grubbing?). Also, this isn't a new thing with Philips. This is them revisiting the concept.

There's nothing absurd here, and more to the point it's nothing Nintendo doesn't also do.

o.0

is that jugde fucking retarded or something. The Wii has no camera, never has, it's a pair of sensors.

And why aren't they going after Microsoft? from what I'm reading here, the Kinetic sounds a lot more like this thing then the Wii does.

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