AfterDawn: Tech news

Texas company filed patent suit against Nintendo and Microsoft

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2006 19:47 User comments (30)

Texas company filed patent suit against Nintendo and Microsoft Texas-based Anascape Ltd. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft and Nintendo for allegedly infringing a number of controller-related technology patents. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Anascape, which has no web presence, cited 12 patents filed by "Brad Armstrong" in its claim.
US Patent 5,999,084, granted in 1999 covers a "sensor having a housing" and a depressible actuator in a "resilient dome cap," appearing to cover pressure-sensitive controller buttons. Patents 6,102,802, 6,135,886, 6,343,991, 6,351,205, 6,400,303, and 6,208,271 all basically cover the concept of controllers that include analog pressure-sensitive buttons.

The company also claims that the following patents have been violated: 6,906,700 (3D Controller with Vibration), 6,344,791 (Variable Sensor with Tactile Feedback), 6,347,997 (Analog Controls Housed with Electronic Displays) and 6,222,525 (Image Controller with Sheet Connected Sensors). A patent similar to 6,906,700 (3D Controller with Vibration) held by Immersion Corp. cost Sony millions when it lost a lawsuit brought against it over the company's DualShock technology.

It is interesting that Anascape hasn't targetted Sony with a lawsuit but Ars technica points out that pressure-sensitive buttons were available as early as 2000 with the release of the PlayStation 2 console, for which development probably started before Armstrong even filed his earliest patents. Neither Microsoft or Nintendo have commented about the suit yet.

Sources:
Ars technica
IGN

Previous Next  

30 user comments

15.8.2006 1:34

What the hell? Is this "Anascape" thing a load of sony fan boys or something? The PS3 stole the motion sensor tipping from the Wii and Nintendo are the ones getting sued!?!

25.8.2006 8:05

I think Texas should just clam up. I never knew they were into making controllers or controller type/related products. Here they are suing 2 BIG Companies when there are other closet cased companies that are doing the same thing like Gizmondo. What strikes odd is that legal action is just going on now?

35.8.2006 8:33

Quote:
Patents 6,102,802, 6,135,886, 6,343,991, 6,351,205, 6,400,303, and 6,208,271 all basically cover the concept of controllers that include analog pressure-sensitive buttons.
...And they're trying to claim this NOW?? Jesus Christ!; this maybe could've help up in the 80's when video games finally came into the home; but NOW their trying to say that this technology was stolen from them??? I don't know about you; but this very stupid; like others said already; this won't hold up in court very well with the TWO FRIGGIN BIG companies that they're against....I say give it up....

45.8.2006 10:07

I am still wondering why Sony isn't included in the lawsuit. Oh well. Well just have to let the justice system proceed.

55.8.2006 10:42

I wonder if they are owen in part by sony or have deals with sony to bring up suchh thigns now is silly...this is why the pantent system needs to be overhauled,I am a inventor at heart and see how soem idea protection can be a good thing but the mindless for coperation setup they have now is painfully obseleet...

65.8.2006 13:42

Just more patent trolls coming out of there holes when there's a lot of money to try to extort. Nothing new.. just ask RIM amoungst other...

75.8.2006 16:12

This yet again is another frivolous lawsuit that should be dismissed with prejudice. The technology has been around for awhile and it takes them THIS long to figure it out? DAYMN I wonder what they've been smokin' and If I could have some!! lol Oh and from now on my username is patent number 107584764576453764 umpity billion and is trademarked!! ;o) lol

85.8.2006 18:39

so this leads to my next question how did sony get troucned was the case in the cogs of justice for 5+ years and sony got to make the PS2 with the rubmle and all that during that time?

95.8.2006 19:45

The rumble was immersions and that's why they sued sony so now I'm confused.Also the gamepads for pc's should be implicated in these lawsuits as well. I think this lawsuit is stupid.Why didn't they say something back then if they thought it was a patent infringement.


pc games with gamepad support by tycobb.
http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/360823

106.8.2006 16:53

Quote:
I am still wondering why Sony isn't included in the lawsuit. Oh well. Well just have to let the justice system proceed.
I think It's because Sony had the original Dual-Shock for the PSX out well before Anascape had any patents. The Dual-Shock 2 was just an updated version that was also already in development before anything was patented.

116.8.2006 17:01

umm if it can go after the n64 then the PSX is as fair game as it is,unless sony actuly paid for one of its non sony patents 0-o

126.8.2006 18:39

Yeah, I guess that's true.

136.8.2006 20:29

WTF???????????????? are these people nutz they dont even have a web site shut the hell up sit down keep quiet and make sure to keep sony out of it

146.8.2006 21:29

Anuscape ? Meh. Patent law should be changed so you're not allowed to camp and pick and choose who you sue. Either a patent is granted to the public (HTML and the like), or it's enforced as soon as you hear about it.

157.8.2006 1:50

"Anuscape ? Meh. Patent law should be changed so you're not allowed to camp and pick and choose who you sue. Either a patent is granted to the public (HTML and the like), or it's enforced as soon as you hear about it. " I second that. Law at large should be reviewed to prevent such embarrassing displays of laziness and stupidity...

167.8.2006 6:00
JDelta
Inactive

The biggest bullshit ever. Like what the fuck is Anascape?! I bet you Nintendo is scratching their heads, saying WTF? Man, Nintendo gets all of their sh*t from Japan or China, or whatever. Not Texas. LOL. As for Microsoft, it's a different story.

177.8.2006 7:30

The problem with invention, is that most likely several people with the same idea were working on getting the same produt off the ground at the same time. It then, just comes down to who got it pattented first. The hard part after that is to be able to document your work to make sure that you can prove that someone "ripped you off". An example is XM radio. There were hundreds of people that had the idea of digital radio signals, but the prize went the to company with enough venture capital to launch sattelites and pattent the technology. This guy has a long battle ahead of him!

187.8.2006 10:08

JDelta, edit your post.

197.8.2006 12:53

throw it out...drop the case, and fine them for even wasting one persons time. what did they do? read xbox and gamecube development news and file a patent based on what they read? has anascape even developed their own video game controller? lets see these controllers

207.8.2006 13:07

http://wii.qj.net/Anascape-Ltd-Drags-Nintendo-and-Microsoft-to-Court/pg/49/aid/60736 http://dl.qj.net/lawsuit-document-from-anascape-ltd.-media-tools-xbox-360-applications/pg/12/fid/9216/catid/337 not just 1 but 12 patanets,and the reason this dose not effect sony is becuse SONY is backing/funding Anascape in court it seems altho if I am wrong I am *L*.

217.8.2006 13:10

http://consoles.gwn.com/news/story.php/id/10048/ stupid dailup takes forever to laod...

227.8.2006 18:56

This is all about money. If you own a patent and step in to have a competing company cease production right away, there is no money to be made. However, if you just sit back and watch, then you claim damages for years back. Not to shabby a way to make a couple of bucks with little to no manufacturing cost to you. All you have to do is come up with an idea and patent it.

238.8.2006 13:11

Unfocused pretty much,this loop hole needs to be closed and changed.

248.8.2006 23:39

Yes, this loophole is rather flawed. It is happening right now between Apple and Creative over who patented the portable Mp3 player first. It has also happened many times between Microsoft and Apple over various things. Now, we have a bunch of previously unheard of companies coming out of the woodwork waving their patent papers in one hand, and using their other hand to display the universally accepted "show me the money" gesture. Now, I don't know anything about the patent process, or how detailed one needs to be to obtain a patent, but reading these patents, I'm reminded of the predictions of Nostradamus (spelling?). "The world will end in a fiery Inferno." This quote is so vague; it can be applied to just about any global situation. Not so very different from what is happening in the courtrooms regarding these patents.

259.8.2006 9:01

Unfocused you would think the coperations would jump on this and make thier puppets in office fix it,altho if you put a stangle hold on patents would it stiffle inovation or the coperations themelf....altho alittle weeding inthe corpate world is never a bad thing...

269.8.2006 12:26
goodswipe
Inactive

the broad @ the drive thru @ mcdonalds spilled some hot coffee on me...im suing.

279.8.2006 14:06

goodswipe ya but the coperations complained and the gov but limits and caps on what you can get *L*

2811.8.2006 7:12
goodswipe
Inactive

ill tell you what i got zippy...3rd degree burns on my c%ck...

2911.8.2006 12:54

could someone enlighten us about why sony and the other 30 or so companies that make controllers wouldn't be part of the new "patent troll" attack?

3015.8.2006 18:36

lol I think only Anuscape know for sure:D

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive