Nintendo Accused of Patent Infringement Concerning Wiimote Design

Nintendo’s Wiimote is not only under fire for being a potentially dangerous projectile, due to reports of wrist straps failing to secure the game controller to the gamers’ wrist, it now finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit filed by interface device maker, Interlink Electronics. The company charges that Nintendo infringed upon one of their patents concerning a unit called a "Trigger Operated Electronic Device" filed by the firm on February of 2005.

The charges specifically point to the Wiimote’s "B" trigger, which is found underneath the game controller. According to the lawsuit documents, Interlink charges that
"Nintendo has made, used, offered for sale and sold in the United States, and continues to make, use, offer for sale and sell in the United States one or more controllers which activities infringe, induce others to infringe, and/or contributory infringe the ‘221 patent."

Patent drawings for the Interlink device show a unit which remarkably looks like a smaller version of the Wiimote. Nintendo’s controller resembles a television remote control. Interlink is asking for a jury trial on the matter and is seeking ""loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a result of the infringing activities."

While the success of Nintendo’s Wii has been in doubt since its inception, the game console has recently proven that it definitely sells and appeals to consumers. Whether Interlink Electronics has a legitimate case against Nintendo remains to be seen, but if the suit goes against Nintendo, Mario and Friends may have encountered its first real challenge regarding the design of the Wii and whether that design is indeed as original as Nintendo has claimed.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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