Nintendo Found Guilty of Philips’ Patent Infringement

According to a ruling made on Friday by the Wales and England High Court, two remote control patents of Philip Electronics have been infringed by the Wii and Wii U consoles that belong to Japanese gaming giant, Nintendo. The Japanese firm had been sued by Philips back in 2012 alleging that three of its patents relating to remote controls were infringed by the video game console maker. One of these patents of Philip Electronics were deemed invalid by the court, but the ruling states that the gaming consoles did in fact, infringe the amended versions of the remaining two patents. The patents that have been infringed by the Japanese giant are pertaining to an interface system that’s focused on a pointing device.

A computer system has been described by the patents, which has a handheld pointing device armed with a physical motion sensor and also a camera. The device has a gesture analysis feature that makes commands via hand-gestures to a fixed unit using the motion trajectory that’s found within it. Beacons of room localizations are used by the system and according to the court, the patent belonging to Phillips states that this technology can also be utilized for playing games.

Even though the market is full of similar systems, the court asserted that there is no other device that makes use of the same combo of gesture analysis and sensors. For instance, there is no gesture analysis or physical motion sensor to be found in the version belonging to Wacom. Likewise, a game system was also introduced by Sony that had a handheld unit with a camera, but trajectory wasn’t monitored by the system and there was no physical motion sensor included in the device, as per the ruling made by the court. This means that the claim of Philips concerning a device with a motion sensor and camera is completely valid.

The court said that the Wii system belonging to Nintendo did use these features and an excellent example of this combination is Wii Tennis, which shows how the patents are infringed. The decision was welcomed by Philips and said that it had asked for a fair reward as compensation for this infringement. A spokesman didn’t give much information about the possible damages claim and said that it was yet to be seen. However, as per the rumors, Philip will ask the court to impose a ban on Nintendo’s consoles.

The spokesman of the firm said that they its remote control patents can be licensed. They attempted to negotiate a license agreement with Nintendo in 2011. However, the negotiations weren’t successful so the company made the decision of suing the Japanese firm. Philip also sued Nintendo in Germany in 2012 for the same patents. Similar cases were also filed in 2013 in France and last month, a case was filed in the US. District Court of Delaware. In this case, the firm is seeking a ban on the sales of Wii and Wii U consoles within the US, but the cases haven’t begun yet.

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