updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu September 18, 2008
ITC involved in Wii patent
Hillcrest Laboratories recently filed a lawsuit and patent infringement against Nintendo Co Ltd. over its use of the motion controller technology and a Wednesday report indicates the US International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate the matter. If the ITC finds Nintendo used infringed technology, it could bar the sale of the Wii gaming console from the US market. Nintendo, meanwhile, has said it did not infringe on Hillcrest's intellectual property and intends to "vigorously defend" itself.
Maryland-based Hillcrest, founded in 2001, makes motion-detecting technology that, like the Wii's controllers, allows users to select items on a screen with a handheld device by pointing at a sensor bar. The Wii's controllers also have accelerometers that can simulate the swing of a baseball bat or golf club, among other actions, as an interface in games. Mainly due to the innovative interface, the Wii has been a hot seller since its launch in 2006 and has often sold out at retailers.
Hillcrest alleges that Nintendo has not licensed its technology, while others such as Kodak and Logitech have actively sought out licenses for their own peripherals.