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Nintendo beats Wii patent infringement rap

Appeals court slaps down Anascape

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Nintendo has claimed victory in its long-running legal battle with Anascape after the US Court of Appeals said it did not infringe a patent held by the little-known intellectual property owner.

Anascape had alleged that the Wii and GameCube controllers used six-axis control techniques detailed in US patent 6,906,700 - 'A 3D Controller with Vibration' - and did so without its permission.

Anascape made that allegation in 2006 in complaints filed against both Microsoft and Nintendo. Microsoft settled out of court, but Nintendo chose to fight and, in 2008, was ruled to have infringed Anascape's IP with some, but not all, of the controllers named in the original lawsuit. It was told to pay up $21m.

Nintendo appealed against the judgement, and the appeal court's decision was finally made public this week.

Anascape's patent had been updated with six-axis technology in 2000 - two years after Sony released the DualShock controller with six-axis sensing on board. That, the appeal court ruled, was a clear case of prior art, and so Anascape's claim to the technology is invalid. ®

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