Microsoft hit with lawsuit in Kinect tech spat
Legal process in motion
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".
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. ®
"challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function"
The moment I saw the 'word' "synergistically" this company lost any modicum of sympathy I might have had for them.
"Patents - holding back the inventive and creative spirit of humanity."
Exactly, it should be law that if you're awarded a patent that you must be in active development of a product within umm, say 5 years of it being awarded otherwise you're seen as a troll who is damaging the progression of our species and the patent should become free-for-all to use.
Don't Microsoft play the same game?
How long had Android been out before Microsoft started hitting on the various handset manufacturers for patent infringement? They're all as bad as each other in this regard.
There seems to be a pattern emerging, wait until a product is successful and then sue rather than when an infringement is noticed.
The real kick in the teeth with all the claims is asking for triple damages for wilful infringement and injunctions against sale when the patent owner has sat on it for a couple of years.
If you've waited a couple of years between noticing an infringement and doing anything about it then surely you've failed to protect your patent and should lose it not get paid a bonus for suing someone?
Re: I'm sorry
You and me both mate... anybody trying to include such nonsense marketing terminology in a serious patent application should immediately be refused that patent.
Patents - holding back the inventive and creative spirit of humanity.
My patents against your patents.
I hope they know the story of Kinect. The tech came from another company who had developed (and patented) the two-camera system. Microsoft acquired the company outright (including its patent portfolio) and developed the tech into the Kinect. And IINM the patents and tech date back a few years. El Reg itself covered the stories. So unless Impulse can prove its tech dates back to sometime before 2007 (I think), Microsoft may be willing to come back and say, "You got patents? News Flash: So do we. What say we head to court and see which ones will hold out."