News Article

Appeals Court Upholds Nintendo MotionPlus Win Over "Patent Troll"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Nintendo serves up a low-blow with extra MotionPlus accuracy

Nintendo has a busy legal team, as its innovative or quirky controllers and accessories are consistently challenged in patent disputes. The big N wins these arguments most of the time, and likes to point it out when it does, this time seeing off an appeal to a court victory from early 2013.

Last January Nintendo successfully won a case that was brought by Triton Tech of Texas, which was focused on MotionPlus technology. As we said at that time the battle wasn't necessarily over due to the appeals process, but Nintendo has now issued a press release to confirm that Triton's appeal has also been thrown out, bringing the saga to a close. The following is from a press release in which the big N refers to the appeals win over the "patent troll".

A federal appeals court on June 13 confirmed that a patent asserted against Nintendo by Triton Tech of Texas, LLC is invalid. In a lawsuit filed in 2010, Triton alleged that Nintendo’s Wii Remote controller infringed one of Triton’s patents: U.S. Patent No. 5,181,181. Judge Richard A. Jones of the Seattle district court previously dismissed the lawsuit after finding that the patent did not adequately describe a complete invention, and was therefore invalid. The June 13 federal appeals court ruling upheld that previous dismissal.

“We are very pleased with this result,” said Richard Medway, Nintendo of America’s deputy general counsel. “Nintendo has a long tradition of developing unique and innovative products, while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. Nintendo continues to aggressively defend itself against patent trolls. After many years of litigation, the decision today reflects an appropriate resolution of this case.”

Another day, another patent win. While on the subject of MotionPlus, below is a crazy example we also showed you last time we covered this Triton case. We're still sad that this horse-riding peripheral, "MotionPlus for your butt", never made it to market; yes, it's a real patent from 2009.

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User Comments (28)

Kaze_Memaryu

#3

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Ha! Medway himself called them "patent trolls"! Nice!

Someone should turn all these patent disputes into a crime series á la Suits, with lots of black humor and ginormous court showdowns! It would be awesone!

Phantom_R

#4

Phantom_R said:

All I can think of is, "Who drew the guy on the saddle, and why?" There must be some artistic significance in the onesie and the balding...

CaviarMeths

#5

CaviarMeths said:

Oi, these stories about patent trolls make my blood boil. What a colossal waste of everyone's time.

Granting people the ability to patent vague ideas was a terrible decision. This system needs to be fixed.

LazyShell

#7

LazyShell said:

@CaviarMeths Yeah I do agree, the patent system needs to be looked over. The fact that you can make a vague idea, sit on it for years, then sue people who have something kinda sorta similar needs to stop.

Also there needs to be a statute of limitations on these patent cases. I swear some of these patent troll companies wait for many years before bringing up an infringement case. Likely waiting to see how much money the "offending" company made off of it first.

Action51

#8

Action51 said:

Because Nintendo is a smaller, less global corporation then Microsoft or Sony that puts out a lot of new and innovative tech it attracts these trolls throwing their frivolous lawsuits out there in the hopes of getting a sympathetic judge.

Pretty sad. This is another waste of time and resources for Nintendo and for our court system.

Dr_Corndog

#9

Dr_Corndog said:

How many millions are wasted in court defending legitimate businesses against patent trolls? I wish these leeches would all get thrown in jail for a few years.

Sean_Aaron

#10

Sean_Aaron said:

I should think having prototyped a concept would be a requirement of any patent - otherwise what, exactly are you patenting? This is what really fuels the patent troll industry - not only the lack of quality control for patent applications, but the lack of any requirement to realise a product on the back of them.

Yorumi

#11

Yorumi said:

@CaviarMeths you can't patent vague ideas which is why the judges threw this case out. The problem is the patent office is swamped(and they're the government so lazy) and so a lot of things get past them. There are at times multiple patents for the same invention for example.

What they need to do is reform the legal side of patents and perhaps allow for penalties for losing a case, maybe paying the other side's legal fees or something. Right now the biggest problem is there's nothing at risk when a case like this is lost. Companies can just bring case after case after case and hope they win even just one a year. It's like gambling without paying money, but you still win money, who wouldn't do it.

Cevan

#16

Cevan said:

Glad to see Nintendo come out on top over patent trolls once again.

Kirk

#17

Kirk said:

Hmmm,

This actually sounds a bit dodgy to me.

They're not really saying that Nintendo definitely did or didn't basically do/copy the same thing as was in that companies idea [would have been if it were a bit clearer probably] but that its Patent wasn't valid in the first place.

To me that means the Patent guys f'd this company over by granting them a Patent that wasn't quite up to the task in the first place and SURELY that's part of their job.

If the Patent wasn't clear enough it what it was saying it should never have been granted in the first place, which would have save this company a lot of money on the Patent firstly and second a crap load more money and time on this whole lawsuit.

Well those are just my thoughts anyway.

Nice that Nintendo won either way because I trust that Nintendo isn't in the habit of just trying to f'k other companies over like this.

nathanbjohnson

#18

nathanbjohnson said:

So does the patent troll just keep trolling along or do they have to pay damages to Nintendo? There is more here than just legal fees but also shouldn't libel and slander come into play?

vamkar

#19

vamkar said:

Good! One more down...
...ten more coming. Texas need to fix their laws.

Nintendo_Ninja

#20

Nintendo_Ninja said:

Good. Nintendo beat these idiots and the trolls got what was coming to them: a swift kick in the behind delivered by court law.

FJOJR

#21

FJOJR said:

That illustration of that person just looks disturbing. Like a grown man in a baby's clothes who should not be reaching back there.

Manaphy2007

#23

Manaphy2007 said:

@Action51 nintendo is almost 130 years old while they are only make games and systems, they made other stuff before the start of the gaming industry

StarDust4Ever

#24

StarDust4Ever said:

I remember the original article for the saddle accessory. LOL, looked like it could easily be converted into something you'd find at one of those unscrupulous adult "novelty" shops. :*

Manaphy2007

#25

Manaphy2007 said:

@Kirk they dont love other companies, yes nintendo has loved up with their marketing of certain consoles over the years but they are not stupid enough to sue legit companies, they are not patent trolls, they let the patent trolls love themselves over

Link506

#26

Link506 said:

@Sleepingmudkip Cuz they know they are trolling the Big N. Not some other company no one knows about or cares about. They want to have the bragging right of saying, "I trolled Nintendo".

R-L-A-George

#28

R-L-A-George said:

Yay, glad they won! Man the people who try to patent troll everyone are so immature. This immaturity should follow cheap embarrassment.

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