Wii whacked with patent infringement claim - again
Remote and Nunchuck at center of row
The Wii’s been hit with yet another patent violation claim, this time by a US firm alleging that the console’s controllers its ‘Human Movement Measurement System’ (HMMS).
It’s claimed that Nintendo violated a patent owned by Ohio-based company Motiva for an HMMS involving a “hand-held tracking device in communication with a base-station” used to create “an interactive gaming experience”.
According to Motiva, the Wii uses an “interactive hand-held remote in communication with a base-station to reproduce users’ movements” on TV - a pretty good description of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.
"Using someone else's technology without permission is theft," said attorney W. Mark Lanier, Motiva's legal representative.
It’s worth noting that Motiva’s patent was filed in 2004, but only granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in November 2007. The Wii was released in September 2006.
Motiva’s HMMS patent was originally listed as a rehabilitation aid, but games have also been listed as another potential use. It's not clear whether the videogame usage model was part of the original 2004 filing, or added at a later date before the patent was granted. Either way, Motivia is seeking royalties, damages and attorney fees from Nintendo.
Back in May, Nintendo was told to pay US gaming company Anascape $21m (£14.2m/€16.5m), after a court upheld claims that both the Wii’s and GameCube’s controllers violated its intellectual property rights.
Now i'm quite sceptical about this sort of stuff, mostly for the fact that this comes out of the blue near the end of 2008 with what sounds like a very quickly thought out name to attach to the device in the arguement. I'm stopping here because i'm worried that the next sentence i churn out will be extremely unstable.
Leave the US in a technological wilderness
Fairly simple solution as the US allow blindingly obvious things to be patented with or without working examples, is to not sell into the US. They will still want their gadgets and may then start to resolve their restrictive practices properly.