Nintendo beats Wii patent infringement rap
Appeals court slaps down Anascape
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. ®
IP/patent trolls like Anascape are ridiculous. Why do they own the IP/patent for game controller technology when they dont even make game consoles or controllers. I could maybe understand if they did research in the field, but they dont. They only buy the fucking bit of paper that says they did so they can make money off the tech companies that actually make em.
Good on Nintendo for fighting - wish more companies did this.
kiddie fiddlers > Hitler > Satan > Patent Lawyers
Patent Attorneys these days are largely a blight on capitalism and expose the modern artificial house of cards virtual land rush VIP Feudialism (patent lawyers, big bankers, self important politicians) that ultimately will crash our standard of living for a generation.
It was Sony
The Sixaxis claim of prior art comes from the Playstation's DualShock controller. Which would've looked even weirder in Nintendo HQ: "Hey guys, our main competitor made the thing before!"
Granted that the "Sixaxis" controller as such came with the PS3, but the concept might have been patented by Sony well in advance of the actual accelerometer being added; also you might claim that the dual analog sticks give six-axis movement capabilities.
Anyway, good for Nintendo. Troll icon, though I'd like to use a 'dead troll' one.
Steven, the patent is invalid because of the prior art on the vibration component - not the Sixaxis bit. A patent is only valid if it is entirely novel - or that's my reading of it anyway :)
*bzzzt* Sorry, incorrect.
"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."
The original Dual Shock and Dual Shock 2 controllers did NOT have accelerometers. They *did* have "rumble packs" (which sure sounds better than "vibrators"). The Dual Shock 3 came out in (roughly) 2007 and did have an accelerometer and a "rumble pack".