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Gushing torrent of Wii U sales may be halted by Philips lawsuit

Thursday, 15th May 2014 06:06 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Philips has sicked its army of lawyers onto Nintendo in a suit which threatens to put a stop to sales of the console. We’d definitely notice if that happened.

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Phillips has claimed patent infringement for motion control technology that “models a user’s body in a virtual environment by animating a virtual body to follow the physical movements of the user”. The patents in question are for the “Virtual Body Control Device” and “User Interface System Based on Pointing Device”.

Philips claims it made Nintendo aware of the patent infringements in December 2011, so it sounds as if the platform holder missed its chance to resolve the matter before it came to (legal) blows.

Patents are a bit more serious than trademarks and copyright, which companies regularly issue ineffectual wrist-slaps over just to preserve their own stakes. If they’re not thrown out quickly or resolved amicably, patent disputes have a tendency to be long, and very costly.

This isn’t Nintendo’s first go round with patent troubles by any means, and it has a spotty track record; although it’s won a couple of cases, it’s also lost at least one very expensive suit.

If Philips is successful, it’ll receive damages, enhancement value and interest, as well as an injunction against sales of the Wii U. We’d like to say that would be disastrous for Nintendo. But you know. It’s not a good time.

Full details of the suit are available on Scribd.

Thanks, GameInformer.

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17 Comments

  1. OmegaSlayer

    Go Philips!
    Nintendo has to be brought to their knees and go multiplatform because it’s in the best interests of the industry.

    #1 4 months ago
  2. salarta

    … The fuck?

    This is a stupid patent, like many things are stupid patents. It’d be like patenting the general concept of a controller. Whoever awarded this patent to Philips is either stupid or an asshole, and I don’t think I’m going too far in saying that unless there are very, very, VERY specific aspects of it that could easily be avoided that Nintendo copied regardless. More importantly, I want to know if Microsoft and Sony made some sort of licensing deal with Philips or if Philips is turning a blind eye to those two companies even though they do the same thing.

    #2 4 months ago
  3. BrokenSpline

    @OmegaSlayer

    You do realize that Nintendo has so much money in the bank they could withstand decades of failures of the WiiU and still be fine. This is just another case of patent troll looking to get paid.

    #3 4 months ago
  4. super3001

    brenna trolling again. you are a bad journalist. stop.

    #4 4 months ago
  5. salarta

    @super3001 Says the random person on the internet with super and 3001 in his name.

    #5 4 months ago
  6. Dragon

    @salarta ,
    While I agree that western patent laws are the most stupid ones in the world, you should reserve your judgement unless you know the entire details regarding the patent in question. Ninty has recently lost one which was a clear cut case of patent infringement.

    #6 4 months ago
  7. OmegaSlayer

    @BrokenSpline so, since Nintendo has money, you think that it’s good for the overall gaming business that they keep failing or they waste money.
    Better to keep failing and lose money than go multiplatform.

    So, you do a business in which you aim to gain 50x (x is imaginary value) for piece.
    For some reason your product doesn’t appeal to the market, though.
    So, instead of partnering with someone else that has more market presence and appeal, and eventually gain 30x for piece, you decide to keep your price at 50x and not sell, and actually lose money because keeping your business on the market has costs that you can’t be able to get back for your poor sales.

    It doesn’t seem reasonable in my book.
    It’s ok for Nintendo and Nintendo fanboys.
    Guys, when you protect a company that is doing bad, and don’t try to get them back on their feet and mind with constructive criticism, you’re hurting the same company you love.

    #7 4 months ago
  8. Henryman122997@gmail.com

    @OmegaSlayer How the fuck do you wish harm on one of the big three? You know if Nintendo drops out of the console market that will be disastrous for the video game market.

    #8 4 months ago
  9. bernadette N

    Now I know Not to buy any product from Phillips and this is not going to do anything to Nintendo man??? People People do you now how much Money they have??? let me just put it this way Nintendo Monopolised gaming for decades! and right now its making plenty of money of of the 3DS man its sold an incredible 44.5 million units world wide and the U is at 6.2 Million units sold right behind the PS4. worse thing that could happen they redesign the U’s Touch Pad or patch the games so they dont use certain features. Cause too many people like the touch pad I am One of them it brings an array of features into gaming that make the gaming experience so much better

    #9 4 months ago
  10. bernadette N

    @OmegaSlayer Now I know Not to buy any product from Phillips and this is not going to do anything to Nintendo man??? People People do you now how much Money they have??? let me just put it this way Nintendo Monopolised gaming for decades! and right now its making plenty of money of of the 3DS man its sold an incredible 44.5 million units world wide and the U is at 6.2 Million units sold right behind the PS4. worse thing that could happen they redesign the U’s Touch Pad or patch the games so they dont use certain features. Cause too many people like the touch pad I am One of them it brings an array of features into gaming that make the gaming experience so much better

    #10 4 months ago
  11. bernadette N

    @salarta Now I know Not to buy any product from Phillips and this is not going to do anything to Nintendo man??? People People do you now how much Money they have??? let me just put it this way Nintendo Monopolised gaming for decades! and right now its making plenty of money of of the 3DS man its sold an incredible 44.5 million units world wide and the U is at 6.2 Million units sold right behind the PS4. worse thing that could happen they redesign the U’s Touch Pad or patch the games so they dont use certain features. Cause too many people like the touch pad I am One of them it brings an array of features into gaming that make the gaming experience so much better

    #11 4 months ago
  12. bernadette N

    Took a look at the patent. It applies more to the PS Move than anything. A decent patent lawyer in Nintendo’s court will squash this quicker than a paper cup beneath Oprah.

    Good luck, Phillips. You’re really going to need it. You’re suing the wrong company for that patent.

    The Wiimote, the device you’re targeting, does not involve a camera for movement tracking. It combines a pair of heat sources the Wiimote thermal sensors can detect and an internal accelerometer to do the movement tracking. Your patent makes very specific use of the camera using images to identify the tracked object.

    Even if you had the patent free and clear and weren’t being a patent troll about it, it wouldn’t apply to Nintendo’s superficially similar, but fundamentally different technology.

    You might have a chance if you went after Sony and/or Microsoft, but then again this is silly bullshit anyway.

    /munches popcorn

    #12 4 months ago
  13. bernadette N

    @OmegaSlayer Now I know Not to buy any product from Phillips

    Took a look at the patent. It applies more to the PS Move than anything. A decent patent lawyer in Nintendo’s court will squash this quicker than a paper cup beneath Oprah.

    Good luck, Phillips. You’re really going to need it. You’re suing the wrong company for that patent.

    The Wiimote, the device you’re targeting, does not involve a camera for movement tracking. It combines a pair of heat sources the Wiimote thermal sensors can detect and an internal accelerometer to do the movement tracking. Your patent makes very specific use of the camera using images to identify the tracked object.

    Even if you had the patent free and clear and weren’t being a patent troll about it, it wouldn’t apply to Nintendo’s superficially similar, but fundamentally different technology.

    You might have a chance if you went after Sony and/or Microsoft, but then again this is silly bullshit anyway.

    /munches popcorn

    #13 4 months ago
  14. bernadette N

    @salarta Now I know Not to buy any product from Phillips

    Took a look at the patent. It applies more to the PS Move than anything. A decent patent lawyer in Nintendo’s court will squash this quicker than a paper cup beneath Oprah.

    Good luck, Phillips. You’re really going to need it. You’re suing the wrong company for that patent.

    The Wiimote, the device you’re targeting, does not involve a camera for movement tracking. It combines a pair of heat sources the Wiimote thermal sensors can detect and an internal accelerometer to do the movement tracking. Your patent makes very specific use of the camera using images to identify the tracked object.

    Even if you had the patent free and clear and weren’t being a patent troll about it, it wouldn’t apply to Nintendo’s superficially similar, but fundamentally different technology.

    You might have a chance if you went after Sony and/or Microsoft, but then again this is silly bullshit anyway.

    /munches popcorn

    #14 4 months ago
  15. bernadette N

    @super3001 Now I know Not to buy any product from Phillips

    Took a look at the patent. It applies more to the PS Move than anything. A decent patent lawyer in Nintendo’s court will squash this quicker than a paper cup beneath Oprah.

    Good luck, Phillips. You’re really going to need it. You’re suing the wrong company for that patent.

    The Wiimote, the device you’re targeting, does not involve a camera for movement tracking. It combines a pair of heat sources the Wiimote thermal sensors can detect and an internal accelerometer to do the movement tracking. Your patent makes very specific use of the camera using images to identify the tracked object.

    Even if you had the patent free and clear and weren’t being a patent troll about it, it wouldn’t apply to Nintendo’s superficially similar, but fundamentally different technology.

    You might have a chance if you went after Sony and/or Microsoft, but then again this is silly bullshit anyway.

    /munches popcorn

    #15 4 months ago
  16. GamerWho

    Dear Philips. Your tech sucks. Your bluray players are worse than life itself. The time for litigation was when the Wii was making tens of millions. You missed the boat. Get over it and get lost.

    #16 4 months ago
  17. GamerWho

    ar Philips. Your tech sucks. Your bluray players are worse than life itself. The time for litigation was when the Wii was making tens of millions. You missed the boat. Get over it and get lost.

    #17 4 months ago

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