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Nintendo wins patent appeal over controllers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 13 Apr 2010 20:06 User comments (11)

Nintendo wins patent appeal over controllers In late 2006, Texas-based Anascape filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft and Nintendo for allegedly infringing a number of controller-related technology patents.
12 patents filed by Brad Armstrong were added in the claim including US Patent 5,999,084, granted in 1999 which 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. At the time, the company also claimed that the following patents had 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).

In May of 2008, a federal jury ruled in favor of Anascape, announcing that Nintendo will have to pay the company $21 million USD for infringing patents while designing controllers for the Wii and Gamecube consoles.

Today, almost two years later, Nintendo has won their patent appeal over Anascape, and it appears for the time being, sales of the Wii "Wavebird" and Gamecube controllers will not be banned in the U.S., as Anascape was asking for.

Microsoft settled with Anascape in 2008.

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11 user comments

113.4.2010 21:35

It's nice to have your ideas legally protected but I hate patents due to how abused they are.

Patents are not meant to be abused where all you do is "patent" something and hope you can sue a company for millions of dollars before your patent expires in ten years.

214.4.2010 1:04
ukhn99
Unverified new user

Good for Nintendo, I'm tire of all this small company put out a patent and wait for big computer to do it and make big money out of it.

314.4.2010 9:27

Yeah patent trolls suck. Now the gamecube controllers can fly off the shelf! LOL

414.4.2010 10:13

Ya know....whoever comes out with a patent to the market first should have that patent, unless if you can directly link information leaks from that irritations R&D.

515.4.2010 12:12

I hope this means Nintendo will now sell GC controllers again. I hate the aftermarket controllers and all my GC contrllers are starting to crap out.

615.4.2010 12:18

Yay Ninty.

716.4.2010 0:46

It all boils down to who's got the big bucks

819.4.2010 13:32

A patent holder should actually have a working prototype instead of just an idea.

919.4.2010 15:07

Originally posted by xtwister:

A patent holder should actually have a working prototype instead of just an idea.
As long as they have a functional idea before soemone else its not so bad an idea to let them patent it

1019.4.2010 16:33

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Originally posted by xtwister:

A patent holder should actually have a working prototype instead of just an idea.
As long as they have a functional idea before soemone else its not so bad an idea to let them patent it
EDIT (by Pop_Smith): I agree with ZippyDSM on this one. I think a decent amount people that come up with brilliant, and plausible, ideas don't have the money (or, possibly, time) to come up with a working prototype.

However, I believe when applied for patents need to something that is realistic within the five years or less.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Apr 2010 @ 16:39

1119.4.2010 21:02

Originally posted by Pop_Smith:
Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Originally posted by xtwister:

A patent holder should actually have a working prototype instead of just an idea.
As long as they have a functional idea before soemone else its not so bad an idea to let them patent it
EDIT (by Pop_Smith): I agree with ZippyDSM on this one. I think a decent amount people that come up with brilliant, and plausible, ideas don't have the money (or, possibly, time) to come up with a working prototype.

However, I believe when applied for patents need to something that is realistic within the five years or less.

Oh I forgot to finish my thought on that one.

As long as they have a functional one FIRST, anything that comes after the first is derived and may not be changed enough to warrant a new patent.

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