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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