Nintendo's Wii Classic, WaveBird and GameCube controllers may become very scarce in the U.S. following a judge's decision to ban their sale.
The ban is the result of a patent infringement lawsuit filed against Nintendo by a company called Anascape, a small firm in Texas that claimed the controllers in question violated 12 of its patents. The company was awarded $21 million in damages, as well as an order halting the sale of the controllers.
The ban will be postponed, however, while Nintendo takes the matter to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The company will have to post a bond or put royalties into an escrow account, but will be free to continue selling the controllers when it does, although the WaveBird and GameCube controllers are no longer being offered in the U.S.
Doug Cawley, a lawyer for Anascape, claimed the ban was justified because his client wants to enter the market, but Nintendo has "clogged the channel." Anascape's technology is also being used by Sony and Microsoft in their consoles, but Sony licensed the patent in 2004, while Microsoft settled the lawsuit filed against it on May 1, just prior to the start of the trial.