updated 02:01 pm EDT, Thu May 15, 2014
Motion control patent lawsuit seeks compensation Wii console sales ban
Nintendo is being attacked by electronics manufacturer Philips over claims of patent infringement. The game company is accused of using aspects of Philips' motion control IP over its entire range of Wii devices, including the Wii console, Wii Remotes, the Wii U console and gamepad, and the Wii Mini, with Philips also seeking a sales ban in the United States.
Filed in Delaware on May 14th, Eurogamer reports the lawsuit pertains to two patents. The first, patent 6,285,379, is a "virtual body control device," such as allowing an on-screen character to move in relation to a physical object's motion. The second, patent 8,537,231, is titled "User interface system based on pointing device," and directly relates to the Wii Remote's ability to target points of a screen, such as with the Wii's home menu.
Aside from requesting a sales injunction, the suit requests compensation for infringing both patents, a tripling of the damages, and pre- and post-judgement interest on its damages. Philips is also requesting a trial by jury.
The lawsuit was filed just a week after Nintendo released its 2013 year-end report, showing it to have lost $457 million after sales of the Wii U and 3DS hardware slumped. Only 2.72 million Wii U consoles were sold in the year, far below the company's initial 9 million estimate at the start of the fiscal year.