Nintendo Breaking Patent Law With The Wiimote?

The latest courtroom drama from the US

It seems that both Sony and Nintendo may have a fight on their hands thanks to a patent dispute currently doing the rounds in the US. This follows on from Sony’s humiliating courtroom defeat at the hands of Immersion Corporation, which effectively cost the Japanese giant $100 million in damages and forced them to remove controversial rumble technology from the first generation of PS3 consoles.

The latest dispute comes from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where Copper Innovations Group late last month filed suit against Nintendo and Sony for a patent it holds on a "Hand Held Computer Input Apparatus and Method."

The patent--which was filed in January of 1996--covers a method for connecting devices to a system and sorting their inputs by means of hardware identification numbers tied to each transmission. According to the suit, Nintendo and Sony are violating the Copper Innovations Group's patent by making and selling their systems and controllers. The Wii Remote, Wii Nunchuk, Sixaxis controller, and Blu-ray Remote Control are all named in the suit as infringing products.

Copper Innovations Group is seeking damages plus interest, legal fees, and an injunction permanently prohibiting Sony, Nintendo, or their agents from infringing upon the patent. An attorney for Copper declined to comment on the case (or the omission of Microsoft as a defendant) for GameSpot, while Sony and Nintendo representatives did not return requests for comment.


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