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Microsoft hit with lawsuit in Kinect tech spat

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Microsoft is facing legal action over its gaming hardware after an intellectual property owner claimed to own all rights to tech that tracks players' movement and enables gaming without a controller.

Ohio-based outfit Impulse Technologies reckons Microsoft's Xbox Kinect goes against seven of its patents, Patent Arcade reports, and has filed a lawsuit alleging intellectual property theft.

The patent describes a "system and method for tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space" as well as an "education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function".

The company says it contacted Microsoft before filing the lawsuit - booked into the US District Court of Delaware - claiming its patents cover a "wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions... and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by use of a camera".

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Impulse hasn't targeted Microsoft exclusively. Eight developers from EA to Konami are also accused of infringing the patents, by making various games that feature movement-based controls.

Impulse is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, treble damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Earlier this month, Nintendo was accused of infringing on patents for glasses-free stereoscopic images. ®

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