It’s an unfortunate day for the Big N, as it’s been announced that Nintendo of America has lost a patent lawsuit involving its Wii Remote controllers. A Dallas, Texas jury declared earlier this week that Nintendo infringed on consumer robot company iLife’s motion-sensing accelerometer technology in its own controllers. The verdict sees Nintendo awarding iLife $10 million, but the company has expressed intent to fight the decision.
Nintendo addressed the decision in a statement:
“On August 31, 2017, a jury in Texas found that certain Wii and Wii U video game systems and software bundles infringed a patent belonging to iLife Technologies Inc. related to detecting if a person has fallen down. The jury awarded iLife $10 million in damages. Nintendo disagrees with the decision, as Nintendo does not infringe iLife’s patent and the patent is invalid. Nintendo looks forward to raising those issues with the district court and with the court of appeals.”
On the contrary, Dallas-based law firm Munck Wilson Mandala spoke out about the relief and satisfaction felt on iLife’s side of the situation. “Since 2013, Munck Wilson Mandala has represented iLife,” said firm partner Jamil Alibhai, head of its litigation practice. “Today’s verdict is the result of our commitment to excellence and an outstanding team effort.”
The lawsuit was first filed nearly four years ago, when iLife Technologies Inc. and Munck Wilson Mandala set in motion a $144 million patent infringement case that called Nintendo’s technology into question, drawing similarities to its own tech. Though iLife uses its tech to keep a watchful eye on infants in efforts to prevent sudden infant death syndrome and on the elderly to avoid falls and injuries, the company argued that its patented technology could be implemented in other applications. In regards to Nintendo, iLife alleged that Nintendo misappropriated its tech when it created its motion-sensing Wii Remote controller.
iLife initially sought a $4 per unit royalty payment linked to a staggering 36 million Wii systems sold in the six years prior to the lawsuit being filed, but Nintendo contested that the iLife-filed patent was invalid because the written description included wasn’t properly penned.
As aforementioned, Nintendo is seeking to appeal the decision. Should the company lose and the Texas jury’s verdict remain, the company will dole out $10 million to iLife Technologies, which works out to about $0.27 for each of the 36 million total Wii consoles.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first (and likely won’t be the last) time Nintendo has been embroiled in a messy legal battle. The company previously lost a 3DS patent infringement case and another against the go-kart company MariCar, and was taken to court by product manufacturer Gamevice over the Switch Joy-Con controller design and by Dutch electronics manufacturer Philips over motion control and interface technology patents.
Though the verdict has already been passed down, there’s still hope for Nintendo in the appeal process. Here’s to hoping for a positive outcome.
Source: Rolling Stone