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The Wii Classic Controller found to infringe patents
Jury rules against Nintendo in patent lawsuit

Nintendo was ordered on Wednesday to pay $21M to Anascape, a small East Texas gaming company, for infringing on a patent for gaming controllers.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2006 by Anascape, which targeted both Microsoft and Nintendo for infringement of 12 patents issued between 1999 and 2005. Anascape sought compensation, including interest, from the revenues generated by both companies as a result of the claimed infringements.

A jury found that Nintendo had infringed on the Anascape patents in the design of the GameCube, WaveBird and Wii Classic controllers.

According to comments recorded by the Associated Press, Nintendo spokesman Charlie Scibetta said that the company will seek an appeal and hopes that the infringement award would be reduced significantly. No infringement was found with the motion-sensing scheme used on the Wii Remote or Nunchuk.

Microsoft avoided the jury ruling as it had settled with Anascape on terms that remain confidential.

While $21M may sound like a hefty sum, it’s not quite as painful as the $91 million Sony had to hand over to Immersion for its use of force feedback vibration technology. Sony and Immersion coming to an agreement then ruffled the feathers of Microsoft, who in turned launched its own legal complaint.

Sony, who was oddly not a part of the Anascape suit, recently launched its third-generation DualShock controller in North America.



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What was it?
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2008 9:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
What was the nature of the infringement?




RE: What was it?
By Fracture on 5/15/2008 9:51:45 AM , Rating: 4
Taken from the related link in the article (GameDaily.biz):

quote:
The patents seem to deal with almost every aspect of today's modern video game controller, such as analog controls, analog pressure sensors for buttons, vibration and tactile feedback, and more. One would think that Sony's PS2 controller would come into conflict with these patents as well, so it's not clear why Anascape has targeted Microsoft and Nintendo and has not included Sony in the suit.


RE: What was it?
By Locutus465 on 5/15/2008 9:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
When were these filed? It seems to me that game controllers have had these features almost since day 1... prior art here people?


RE: What was it?
By Marlin1975 on 5/15/2008 10:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
Thats why some believe they did not go after Sony as their PS2 controller came out right before these patents were filed.


RE: What was it?
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2008 10:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder why Sony didn't file for these patents.


RE: What was it?
By mholler on 5/15/2008 10:45:27 AM , Rating: 2
I guess it's possible that Sony licensed the technology beforehand whereas MS and Nintendo didn't. Or Sony may have settled out of court before the suite was filed. Pure conjecture of course.


RE: What was it?
By JonnyDough on 5/15/2008 1:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be amazed at the number of intellectual properties stolen every day from corporations because they fail to patent. I know someone that worked for Pfizer for 40 years designing drugs and he can tell you about the billions of dollars that are lost due to failure to patent research of technologies.


RE: What was it?
By AlphaVirus on 5/15/2008 10:16:54 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this is why Sony kept the remotes from PS1>PS2>PS3 all the same. Not exact, but 99% similar.


RE: What was it?
By Samus on 5/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: What was it?
By Locutus465 on 5/15/2008 1:07:47 PM , Rating: 3
Honestly.... I don't like the PS controller all that much, doesn't quite feel as natural in my hand as an x-box or even GC controller.


RE: What was it?
By omnicronx on 5/15/2008 1:11:47 PM , Rating: 4
The GC controller was my favorite, definatly the most ergonomic controller out there. I could play games for hours before my hands started to hurt.. The original xbox controller sucked though, it seemed like it was made for the hands of Shaquille O'Neal. I have normal sized fingers and I can not reach some of the buttons easily.


RE: What was it?
By Locutus465 on 5/15/2008 2:32:53 PM , Rating: 3
I never used anything other than S-Controllers and GameStop brand wireless controllers for my original x-box. The S-Controller was a comfertable size though a little bit, the game stop one was very nice, but lacked rumble.

For the 360 I have no issues with the standard microsoft comtroller, it's comfertable.

Addressing another posters idea's about ergonomics.... What you said doesn't change the fact that for me the PS controller is awkward. Where I have the biggest issues is with reaching the front buttons, I don't know... It just doesn't work for me.


RE: What was it?
By Sulphademus on 5/16/2008 9:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
The original Xbox controller being a direct rip of the Dreamcast controller which was an evolution of their large analog controller for special use with the Saturn game Nights.

I think Sega beat Anascape to the analog punch. Even Sony had an analog controller for the PS1 (I still have mine). Both kinda predate the 1999-2005 patents.

Has anyone patented the concept of cars with two different types of motors in them? Or is Toyota making bank without challenge?


RE: What was it?
By afkrotch on 5/15/2008 1:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you put your fists next to each other, your thumbs also sit next to each other. One thumb doesn't sit higher up than the other thumb. Odd how Sony decided to put the analog sticks, that are used by your thumb, next to each other like that.

*sarcasm*


RE: What was it?
By acer905 on 5/19/2008 11:40:59 AM , Rating: 2
For me its easy to see why a gamecube style controller is better. I hate first person shooters, so for me even having a second analog stick is not necessary. So having one analog stick next to a set of buttons for primary controls, and below that secondary controls for games that need them makes more sense. Personally i think everyone should offer 2 sets of controllers. One designed for FPS games with 2 analog sticks in a primary position, and buttons in a secondary, and then one for every other game in the gamecube style


RE: What was it?
By otispunkmeyer on 5/15/2008 10:37:00 AM , Rating: 4
for my money, they shouldnt award patents to ideas that are incredibly simple and obvoius such as "controller with analogue button" i mean come on.

ask a 10 year old to design a game pad an thats what theyll come up with.


RE: What was it?
By gersson on 5/15/2008 11:50:53 AM , Rating: 2
"Remote Controller with Analog Button"

That's the one that stood out at me. WOW what a stupid patent.

We desperately need to rethink how the process works.


RE: What was it?
By wempa on 5/15/2008 12:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, these patents are getting more and more ridiculous. They seem WAY too broad. It makes me sick at what they'll allow for a patent nowadays. What's next ? Somebody will try to say that they own the patent for a video game console ???


RE: What was it?
By Generic Guy on 5/15/2008 12:36:51 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
for my money, they shouldnt award patents to ideas that are incredibly simple and obvoius such as "controller with analogue button" i mean come on.


It was Nintendo who resurrected the analog stick with the N64 controller.

And for that matter, I was playing with analog joysticks back in the 1980s with my Apple II, before discrete D-Pads became more popular.


RE: What was it?
By afkrotch on 5/15/2008 1:43:54 PM , Rating: 1
Wrong. Analog Joystick for PS1 was first. Then N64, then dual analog for PS1.


RE: What was it?
By neothe0ne on 5/15/2008 2:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
That's because Sony copied Nintendo. I'm surprised Nintendo doesn't counter-sue this no-name useless patent sitter and name Sony as a second defendant for infringing on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System's controller. Seriously, if this bullshit company can get awarded damages from Nintendo on the GameCube and Classic controllers, Nintendo can sue this company out of existence.


RE: What was it?
By afkrotch on 5/15/2008 2:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sue Sony for what exactly? They used analog joysticks before anyone else. Joysticks before the Playstation Analog Joystick were all digital. Their regular controllers have always used digital push buttons.


RE: What was it?
By Alexstarfire on 5/15/2008 3:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
No they didn't. I'm not gonna say anything more than: "you should do some research before spouting crap."


RE: What was it?
By sprockkets on 5/15/2008 4:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the ORIGINAL PS controllers, and you will see, they had NO analog controls on them. They came out with the dual shock controllers AFTER the N64 introduced the rumble pack and incorporated both features.

Same with the Sega Saturn, including the analog controller with the game called something with Nights in the name.

The analog joystick has been around forever, and they had buttons on them too.


RE: What was it?
By afkrotch on 5/16/2008 7:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
Playstation Analog Joystick. First analog controller. N64's controller came after that. After that was the PS1 Dual Analog and the Saturn's Analog. Dual Shock and N64s rumble came out at roughly the same time. Course Sony showcased the Dual Shock before Nintendo released any info on their rumblepak.


RE: What was it?
By Locutus465 on 5/16/2008 12:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
Are you freaking kidding me? You guys on this forum are really showing your age (or lack there of)... My Commodor 64 had a joystick which was analoge (i.e. analoge stick) and analoge buttons. The atari used the same joystick as my small black one... The idea's nintendo and microsoft are being sued over have been apart of gaming since the freaking 70's... I don't get how anyone could be stupid enough to award settlement for this kind of bs.


RE: What was it?
By afkrotch on 5/16/2008 7:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
Commodore 64 and Atari used a digital joystick. Apple, Amiga, and IBM were the first to use an analog joystick, but on a PC, not game console.


RE: What was it?
By Locutus465 on 5/16/2008 5:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, stand corrected there.. Regardless, this patent doesn't hold water...


RE: What was it?
By EATTHEAPPLE on 6/6/2008 2:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
You just broke my patent that I have for people applying common sense in any conversation including a blog. US Patent # 2855-7448


RE: What was it?
By jtemplin on 5/16/2008 11:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
FIT I did some digging just for you =D

Now we can decide for ourselves what is going on here.

Anascape, Ltd v. Microsoft Corp. et al
This link has everything you need to know about the case, including online copies of every filing.
http://news.justia.com/cases/featured/texas/txedce...

Direct link to the complaint:
http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-cour...

Here is one of the patents. I am no expert in this stuff, so maybe this contains more than one of the patents as it is very long.
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PT...


RE: What was it?
By jtemplin on 5/16/2008 11:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
Enjoy these (Prior) Art Galleries!

Evolution of the Game Pad
http://www.gifford.co.uk/~coredump/gpad.htm

The 8-Bit Joystick Gallery
http://www.pelikonepeijoonit.net/articles/joystick...


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