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Chip tech holder sues Nintendo

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Super Mario and friends are facing legal action from a US-based semiconductor intellectual property company over an alleged patent infringement - potentially within the Wii games console.

Texas-based Lonestar Inventions filed the suit earlier this month in which it alleged that Nintendo's US division has violated a patent it holds for a high-capacitance structure within a semiconductor device.

However, Lonestar has not specifically identified which Nintendo's consoles or components it believes infringe on the patent, a Nintendo spokeswoman told US media.

The patent in question was originally issued in 1993 and - put simply - describes a way to utilise layers of conducting strips to triple the effectiveness of parallel-plate capacitors.

Lonestar is seeking triple damages, but no specific figure has been released.

Nintendo isn't the first to fall foul of Lonestar's legal team. The Texas firm has previously launched legal suits against Texas Instruments, Marvell Semiconductor and the Eastman Kodak Company, in each case alleging violation of the same patent.

In December 2006, Nintendo was sued by another firm claiming patent infringement: California-based plaintiff Interlink Electronics claimed the Wii Remote controller incorporated technonology detailed in one of its patent, 6,850,221.

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