Microsoft has filed suit against the British company, Datel, whose business largely consists of producing gaming peripherals. Two controllers in particular, the ‘Wildfire’ and the ‘Turbofire’ (pictured above) have been the subject of Microsoft’s lawsuit for patent infringement, though Microsoft has stated that Datel has infringed on six total Microsoft patents that were filed in 2006. And yes, at first glance, the controller looks awfully similar to the official Xbox 360 controller, specifically the front button layout and control stick design.
Microsoft has filed an injunction against Datel to stop the manufacture and selling of the controllers and is also seeking compensation and royalties on any controllers already sold to consumers. Documents pertaining to the lawsuit as well as the patent designs can be found at the source link.
While I’ve more than had my fill with lawsuits in the gaming industry in the past few months, it seems like Microsoft has this one pretty much in the bag. The controller looks too similar to the original 360 controller and I find it difficult of a way that Datel can manage to beat the charge.
Admittedly, it is nice to buy a controller that’s certainly cheaper and will more or less do the same thing as its original counterpart. I’m just sorry that Datel had to manufacture something too close to home and they’re definitely going to paying for it for quite some time.
Funny enough, it was Datel suing Microsoft a few months back when Microsoft put out an Xbox 360 update which disabled all of their memory units that gamers had purchased. It makes sense Microsoft did that and is now suing Datel over the controllers because with third-party developers offering substitutes, it makes it harder for them to charge twice as much (a la official Xbox 360 USB sticks).