updated 08:05 am EDT, Thu May 15, 2008
Nintendo 21m Lawsuit
Nintendo today was told by a US federal court that it must pay $21 million in damages to Anascape Ltd. for alleged patent infringement with its game controllers. The Tyler, Texas-based plaintiff successfully argued that Nintendo's conventional but more recent gamepads, including the stock Gamecube controller, the Wavebird wireless pad and the Wii Classic add-on all violated patented technology from Anascape. The Wii's pack-in wand controller, as well as earlier Nintendo gamepads, aren't affected by the ruling.
The Japanese console maker says it will appeal the case, but anticipates the actual damages to be reduced should the company not evade a payout to Anascape.
Microsoft was also the subject of a related suit from Anascape but chose to settle rather than face a full trial.
It's not yet known whether Microsoft or Nintendo will be asked to pay ongoing royalties to Anascape for any controllers they continue to manufacture for their game systems. As a condition of its settlement early this month, Microsoft is unable to publish details of its payouts to the Texas company.