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Nintendo Wins Appeals Court Ruling In Wii Patent Case

Posted by Andy Green

Previous ITC ruling upheld

The US Court of Appeals has upheld a previous ruling by the International Trade Commission finding that Nintendo did not infringe on patents held by Motiva by importing its Wii console.

Motiva held two patents relating to a setup for measuring user movement for the purposes of health and fitness.

Back in 2008, the company sued Nintendo claiming it infringed these patents, however Nintendo argued that Motiva had never attempted to actually use its patents to make its own rival product or license it to others who would. The ITC agreed, stating Motiva had made no effort to commercialise its patents beyond the suit against Nintendo.

Essentially, the 2012 ruling found the focus of Motiva's case was to simply win damages or a settlement and not to license its patents to create usable products. The Court of Appeals has now agreed with the ITC's findings.

Circuit Judge Sharon Prost wrote in the Court of Appeals ruling:

The evidence demonstrated that Motiva's litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at encouraging adoption of Motiva's patented technology. The inventors looked forward to financial gains through Motiva's litigation, not hopes of stimulating investment or partnerships with manufacturers.

Nintendo of America's deputy general counsel Richard Medway commented on the decision:

We are very pleased with this result. The court confirmed that Motiva's sole activity, litigation against Nintendo, did not satisfy the ITC's domestic industry requirement. Nintendo has a passionate tradition of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party's patent.

It appears this case isn't quite over just yet, as Motiva's legal team has expressed its intention to have it tried in district court.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip

[via uk.reuters.com]

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User Comments (19)

StephenYap3

#4

StephenYap3 said:

I'm still puzzled as to why Tomita filed the 3D patent, yet never made a device that utilized it...

OptometristLime

#5

OptometristLime said:

I didn't know that was a requirement for patent suits, a sort of 'proof of commercial intent.'

Very good for Nintendo. :)

ramstrong

#9

ramstrong said:

@StephenYap3
It's called patent troll. The difference is that patent owner will try to make money off the device, either their own manufacture or licensing. Patent troll simply grabbed lots of variations to an existing patent and sue everybody for damage money.

ledreppe

#10

ledreppe said:

Typical American companies, they can only make money by suing other's who actually have money in the first place. Pathetic parasites of companies they are! Nintendo will win the district court appeal aswell, f*ck you Motiva and actually do some real work for a change!

Unca_LzStaff

#11

Unca_Lz said:

I find it funnier when other companies sue for "damages" and their product is nothing like Nintendo's product.

Sir_Deadly

#13

Sir_Deadly said:

All these money hungry people trying to sue Nintendo for financail gain. Glad Nintendo won this!

SCAR392

#15

SCAR392 said:

@HeatBombastic
Actually, money wasn't the ex Sony guys ONLY intention. That's definately part of it, but he truly wanted his 3D display/CPU combo applied to a consumer product. Sony obviously ruled out the idea of a 3D device, which is why he went to Nintendo.
This case on the other hand, never had any intent of ever making it to the market according to the ruling. There probably STILL isn't a product from this company actually showing interest in entering the market, which they obviously would have done by this point.

Mizzah_Tee

#17

Mizzah_Tee said:

Next up... That 3DS patent troll. Nintendo lawyers will see you in the court of appeals soon :D

DarkKirby

#18

DarkKirby said:

If only all rulings went this way and used the same logic the all too common practice of patenting vague concepts where the owner never had any plans of using the "patent" in an actual commercial product and just made it so they can sue for money when someone else actually makes money off of a functioning product, the patent system wouldn't be as much of a problem.

As of now it's very common for some people to patent a large amount of vague ideas, wait for for someone else to commercialize something that is similar to their patent, wait for said "someone else" to actually be successful, then sue for damages based on profits made.

Rect_Pola

#19

Rect_Pola said:

I did not realize the other side could argue against the practice itself. This changes everything.

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