Print 72 comment(s) - last by EATTHEAPPLE.. on Jun 6 at 2:41 PM

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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RE: So . . .
By isorfir on 5/15/2008 9:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know if this source is reliable, but here is a list of the patents:

Patents infringed upon
Patent#5,999,084 "Variable Conductance Sensor"
#6,102,802 "Game Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor"
#6,135,886, "Variable Conductance Sensor with Elastomeric Dome Cap"
#6,208,271 "Remote Controller with Analog Button"
#6,222,525 "Image Controller with Sheet Connected Sensors"
#6,343, 991 "Game Control with Analog Pressure Sensor"
#6,344,791 "Variable Sensor with Tactile Feedback"
#6,347,997 "Analog Controls Housed with Electronic Displays"
#6,351,205 "Variable Conductance Sensor" (A different patent)
#6,400, 303 "Remote Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor" (A different patent)
#6,563,415 "Analog Sensor with Snap Through Tactile Feedback"
#6,906,700 "3D Controller with Vibration"

RE: So . . .
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2008 10:10:42 AM , Rating: 5
Christ I hate patent troll companies who's sole business model is to sue other companies.

RE: So . . .
By omnicronx on 5/15/2008 10:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
I dont understand how someone can patent an anologue controller in 1995.. you would think the technology must have existed beforehand, with someone owning some kind of patent relating to it.

RE: So . . .
By Topweasel on 5/15/2008 10:31:56 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct. My dads favorite Nitendo controller specially for Top Gun the game was a covered controller that sat on one hand and had a analog stick at the top. Using that was about the only way I could land the Fighter.

RE: So . . .
By GreenEnvt on 5/15/2008 1:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oh man, Top gun. I bought an original NES just for that game after seeing it at a friends house.

RE: So . . .
By afkrotch on 5/15/2008 1:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
Can't sue someone who doesn't infringe on those patents. Like Sony for example. All Playstation controllers (PS1, PS2, PS3) has used digital buttons, not analog.

RE: So . . .
By Icelight on 5/15/2008 2:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
That's incorrect. I know for a fact the PS2 controller used analog buttons. (Not sure on the PS3 as I do not own one) If it didn't, games like Mad Maestro would have been designed very it relies on how hard you press the face buttons.

RE: So . . .
By afkrotch on 5/15/2008 2:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
Every button on the PS2 was a pressure sensitive digital button, minus start/select.

RE: So . . .
By akugami on 5/15/2008 2:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know about the PS3 but the PS2 controller has analogue buttons.

RE: So . . .
By afkrotch on 5/15/2008 2:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
The analog button wasn't on the PS1/PS2 controllers for nothing. Left off, the digital buttons weren't pressure sensitive. When turned on, they were.

RE: So . . .
By Alexstarfire on 5/15/2008 3:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
Even if that were true, how does Sony not violate this patent: #6,906,700 "3D Controller with Vibration"

RE: So . . .
By afkrotch on 5/16/2008 11:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
Because of the way the patent was written. Sony would have to have analog buttons to break the patent on the vibration, as the patent specifies on the type of controller.

So to violate said patent, Sony would also have to violate the other patents.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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