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U.S. Appeals Court Smacks Around Wii Patent Troll

| 14 May 2013 17:17
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The judge ruled that the case was filed against Nintendo for "financial gains" and not to support the adoption of the plaintiff's technology.

Ohio-based Motiva LLC filed suit against Nintendo all the way back in 2008, claiming that the Wii console infringed upon two of its patents for technology that tracks a user's position and body movement. In January 2012 the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Nintendo, leading Motiva to file an appeal, which has now also gone Nintendo's way.

A panel of three judges on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington DC affirmed the ITC decision, saying that the lawsuit did not qualify as sufficient cause to impose limits on imports of Nintendo's console, as Motiva had requested. The ruling also cast Motiva's motivations in a rather harsh light.

"Motiva was never close to launching a product incorporating the patented technology - nor did any partners show any interest in doing so, for years before or any time after the launch of the Wii," Judge Sharon Prost wrote. "Motiva's only remaining prototype was a product far from completion, and a multitude of development and testing steps remained prior to finalizing a product for completion."

"Motiva's litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at encouraging adoption of Motiva's patented technology. The inventors looked forward to financial gains through Motiva's litigation, not hopes of stimulating investment or partnerships with manufacturers. Motiva also never asked for a preliminary injunction from the district court, and it waited three years before seeking relief from the Commission - even though the importation of the Wii was allegedly the only obstacle to adoption of its patented technology in the market," the ruling states. "There is simply no reasonable likelihood that, after successful litigation against Nintendo, Motiva's patented technology would have been licensed by partners who would have incorporated it."

Nintendo said it was pleased with the decision, but a lawyer for Motiva called it "unfortunate" and indicated that the company will continue to pursue the matter. "We are confident that Motiva will be vindicated when its case is tried in district court," he said.

The ruling is available in full at www.cafc.uscourts.gov.

Source: Reuters

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