News Article

Philips Secures Wii Patent Victory Over Nintendo in the UK

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Nintendo to appeal, may affect similar claims in other countries

Not too long ago we reported on a Philips patent claim against Nintendo related to Wii technology, specifically with regards to recognising hand gestures and motion. It's not the first such claim against the Wii in this regard, of course, but is certainly significant considering the size of Philips as a company and the history that the businesses shared in a '90s partnership.

That article related to a case in the U.S., but it's emerged today that Philips has actually won an initial judgement for the same issues in the UK High Court. In this particular case there were three claims, one of which related to "modelling a body in a virtual environment", which was rejected. However, Judge Colin Birss did rule that Nintendo had violated two other patents, having failed to argue that they were irrelevant; the judge said the following:

The common general knowledge did not include a device combining a physical motion sensor with a camera and the reasons advanced by Nintendo for putting those two sensors together in one unit are unconvincing.

Nintendo believes the two patents in question are invalid and, as is often the case in these patent disputes, will appeal.

Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business.

Philips, in its statement, has re-iterated that it raised the issue in 2011 and has been seeking to settle, and highlighted ongoing equivalent cases in other countries, including the previously reported U.S. filing.

We believe Nintendo infringed the patents and have tried to settle since 2011, but as that hasn’t worked out we had to take this step. This case relates to other cases in the U.S., Germany and France. It might help in those cases, but that’s up to the local authorities in those countries.

In the case of the U.S. it's been suggested that Nintendo — should it lose — could potentially face paying major royalties to Philips or even see sales of Wii and Wii U systems banned in the country; we suspect the former option is the most likely. In terms of this UK ruling Judge Birss will issue a damages order next month, though any action from that will likely then go on hold as Nintendo appeals the decision.

Should Nintendo lose its appeal this could be particularly damaging from a UK perspective, of course, but also reflect unfavourably in similar cases in other countries. Whether the damage would be as significant or worse than the Tomita Technologies 3DS loss is unclear, though this is certainly a serious situation.

We'll keep you posted with any subsequent updates.

[via bloomberg.com]

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User Comments (178)

mike_intv

#2

mike_intv said:

Something does not seem right with this.

The final patents were not awarded until 2011 (though the initial submission was 2003). The judge says the Sony controller did not use motion detection but Move descriptions note how it includes tracking sensors.

mike_intv

#6

mike_intv said:

Also, the US case was not filed until 2013 because Philips did not have US patents until 2013.

SpookyMeths

#11

SpookyMeths said:

Wasn't this the suit where neither of the patents seemed to describe the Wii Remote and sensor bar and one was for a patent filed after the Wii launched?

unrandomsam

#12

unrandomsam said:

@technotaylor98 They filed it in 2003. Got awarded it in 2011 and tried to negotiate with Nintendo from 2011 until tiling this. This is how the system is supposed to work.

JusticeDragon

#14

JusticeDragon said:

Thats Philips for you they have to sue everything to get easy money since they can't compete with the likes of Sony, LG, Samsung ....

SpookyMeths

#16

SpookyMeths said:

@unrandomsam Except that everyone except for the judge that ruled in favour of Phillips can plainly see that the Wii does not infringe upon these patents. If anything does, it's Kinect and Move.

Grumblevolcano

#17

Grumblevolcano said:

I can't help but think this could be why Microsoft completely abandoned Kinect by creating a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle.

MamaLuigi

#19

MamaLuigi said:

Hmm... well just because Paul McCartney lost money in his divorce settlement with Heather Mills doesn't mean he couldn't just gain it back again by organizing more tours and concerts, which he totally did. :P

MoonKnight7

#20

MoonKnight7 said:

"We believe Nintendo infringed the patents and have tried to settle since 2011, but as that hasn’t worked out we had to take this step."

Ironic how they waited for the Wii to become a fantastic success.

Kogorn733

#22

Kogorn733 said:

Phillips = worthless patent trolls in this case. Part of the reason I'm proud to practice trademark law as opposed to patent law in the U.S. The latter is a complete mess, and the America Invents Act, which changes things from "first to file" to "first to invent" has just made things worse. Fortunately, it has also opened up some other avenues to challenge the validity of some patents, which I hope Nintendo uses in its U.S. litigation.

FragRed

#24

FragRed said:

I fear that this will mean the Wii U will be forced to be pulled from such markets as UK and America. I am surprised Philips have as yet tried to pull this one on Nintendo in Japan. Maybe they knew there was no chance of winning over there. Either way I hate that company with a passion. Just because your CD I was a failure and you can't make good Zelda games doesn't mean Nintendo have to be punished.

AVahne

#25

AVahne said:

Tch, hope the Phillips brand dies out in the new future. They're pretty much irrelevant nowadays anyway.

2Sang

#27

2Sang said:

Phillips you already hurt nintendo enough with the cdi so just stop.

Iggly

#28

Iggly said:

Phillips, you're just jealous you can't make quality products like Nintendo.

Spoony_Tech

#31

Spoony_Tech said:

Well Philips just lost any potential business I would ever give them. If that's how you roll then I want nothing to do with you!

Inkling

#32

Inkling said:

@whodatninja I don't either, which is good!

WHY PHILIPS, FIRST THE CDI NOW THIS? WHY DO YOU HATE NINTENDO!

Seriously though, I'm glad I've got a Wii U already! :)

123akis

#34

123akis said:

so what's going to happen to the Wii U and Wii in the UK!!? is Nintendo paying royalties?

cfgk24

#35

cfgk24 said:

Maybe the judge is corrupt and had been bribed by Phillips. Besides Phillips are just ruining global fun for everyone. Boooooooo hissssss

Mega719

#37

Mega719 said:

Ah so this is why Miiverse is now filled with negative Philllips comments. We they ban both wiis from being selled they would be the most hated company in the gaming industry

something17

#39

something17 said:

Well, if the selling of the Wii and Wii U will be banned in the US, I would expect the console sales to spike so everyone can get their hands on it before it goes away.

I already have a Wii U, so as long as they continue to sell the games, I'm good.

napalmninja

#42

napalmninja said:

I didn't even know Philips was still a thing. I guess you learn something new everyday.

I guess they can only stay relevant by suing decent companies.

Peach64

#44

Peach64 said:

This is why Nintendo fans have such a bad reputation. Phillips are a huge company, and clearly not patent trolls. I imagine the judge on the case knows a lot more about this case than any of us. They're not saying Nintendo copied their patents, they're saying they infringed on them. It's kind of like Nintendo trying to get money from the Youtubers that infringe their copyright, except Phillips is doing it to a huge corporation and Nintendo are doing it to their own fans.

unrandomsam

#45

unrandomsam said:

@CaviarMeths How do you know they didn't license the patents ? Flipping it over should still count as violating the patent. When it comes down to it the only opinion at the moment that matters is the one of that judge.

XCWarrior

#46

XCWarrior said:

Not good to say the least. Hopefully the appeal works for Nintendo, otherwise Nintendo might have to do something drastic.

unrandomsam

#47

unrandomsam said:

@S-Miyahon Philips does medical systems and lightbulbs pretty profitably. (And licenses the name to other people for other uses). And it made DVD and Blu Ray (With Sony) I would say that is still pretty relevant.

Suicune

#48

Suicune said:

@Peach64

If Philllips didnt get the patent until 2011, how would Nintendo know in 2006? Should companies have to comb through every patent and patent pending to make sure there is no possible way they are infringing?

AlexSora89

#49

AlexSora89 said:

Make up your own CD-i joke here.

"This Wii is what all true warriors strive for", to quote Walrusguy.

unrandomsam

#53

unrandomsam said:

@Suicune What you have stated is exactly what you are supposed to do and for a company the size of Nintendo there is no reason whatsoever why they shouldn't be able to.

Xiao_Pai

#54

Xiao_Pai said:

Since when does the Wii even have cameras? And why does it take them over 6 years to realize the thing exists?

Yorumi

#55

Yorumi said:

The ruling seems odd, it almost seems like the judge didn't know they were building a motion controller. Did the news say anything about if this relates to move and kinnect? If they got off or phillips isn't going after them then they're definitely patent trolls and the judge is clueless.

I also have to question the patent system a bit. Why exactly did it take them 8 years to be awarded the patent? That seems like an extraordinarily long time specially since patents are only valid for 15 years.

@Peach64 and I'm sure sony and ms fans wouldn't have the exact same reaction right?

Oh btw immediately jumping to the judge's defense is a form of a logical fallacy. Judges are just simply fallable people who listen to arguments even on subject they don't have the slightest clue about and decide which one they like more. Often times political and personal beliefs influence them. For example the US supreme court is famously split 4, 4, 1. On almost any issue you can guarantee 4 judges will rule in favor of one political side, 4 for the other, and one that tends to go back and forth. If they're really impartial that should be impossible.

That's not to say the judge is somehow biased here, but blindly jumping to his defense is as bad as blindly attacking him. It looks bad here because 2 of the patents were so clearly and obviously no related to the wii and one was extremely general and could cover almost any kind of motion tracking system anyone could possibly ever devise. It does rather make you question the motives of phillips when they attack nintendo over two patents that arn't even in the same universe.

Artwark

#57

Artwark said:

At this point, anything that Nintendo makes will end up being into a loss because of these patent trolls.

There should be a law that you can only sue if the patent matches with the related field but not the opposite. So if Phillips is using it outside entertainment, then Nintendo can use it because its only related to entertainment.

Gerbwmu

#58

Gerbwmu said:

Doesn't mean anything as of yet. Not until the appeal for UK anyway and may or may not change the lawsuit in US. People figuring this out will, in the end, come up with a solution. Either the decision will be overturned or Nintendo will pay royalties to Phillips. It happens in business. That's why companies have teams of lawyers

TheAdrock

#60

TheAdrock said:

These frivolous and baseless suits only stifle innovation. Its truly terrible for the consumers.

electrolite77

#62

electrolite77 said:

I'm actually embarrassed by some of the posting on here. Petulant, childish and ill-informed.

Phillips is a company with a market value twice that of Nintendo's that made $1.55bn profit last year on revenue of $30.97bn. They employ over 115000 people. Yet according to posters on here they are 'irrelevant', 'a dying company' who 'can only stay relevant by using other companies' and 'can't compete with Sony' and the likes. There isn't a face palm picture that does it justice.

http://www.forbes.com/companies/philips/

http://www.forbes.com/companies/nintendo/

electrolite77

#63

electrolite77 said:

@Artwark

Exactly. It seems to me there's a lot of room for appeal too. Further debate about how relevant the patent actually is. It's difficult to judge without seeing all the documentation but I expect this to run and run.

Peach64

#65

Peach64 said:

@yorumi I don't really visit MS/Sony specific sites, but I know a lot of people that own those consoles, and no, I can't imagine them resorting to such childish comments as 'The company is lame anyway, I'm not gonna buy their products now, and I hope they go out of business'. Just look at all the patent troll comments. The company that invented compact cassette tapes, the VCR, DVDs, the electric razor, and all kinds of advances in healthcare equipment, a patent troll! The other forums I do visit, such as neogaf, are actually discussing this, but on here you can bet any time someone tries to offer Nintendo advice, or gives any criticism, everyone turns into school kids and starts insulting them.

Can judges be biased, sure, but I'm still pretty confident in saying the judge would know more about this case than we do. As for Phillips motives, I'm pretty sure that if they're not defending patents they own, they are at risk of losing them. The patients in question are EP0808484, filed in 1995 and EP1573498, filed in 2002.

BinaryFragger

#66

BinaryFragger said:

@electrolite77

I do find it amusing that everyone here is suddenly a patent law expert. Also, I'm sure the comments would be VERY different if Philips sued Microsoft or Sony instead...

As for this case, I agree that it's difficult to judge without all the details. Technology patents are complicated and the system needs reform, and this sort of thing happens all the time. In the end, it'll be business as usual for both Philips and Nintendo.

Imagamerboi

#67

Imagamerboi said:

Don't worry yet people, if Nintendo wins in the other three locations then you can say bye bye to Phillips.

Yorumi

#69

Yorumi said:

@Peach64 "I don't really visit MS/Sony specific sites, but I know a lot of people that own those consoles, and no, I can't imagine them resorting to such childish comments"

Oh please, give me a break. You can only be making a comment like that if you're trolling. These are the people who make death threats over an exclusive game. These are the people who flooded 3ds forums for over a year in about a 10 to 1 ratio mocking the 3ds and nintendo and wasn't until it started selling better they gave up. These are the people who scream racial slurs over voice chat. These are the people who are constantly leveling childish insults against nintendo fans calling it a "kiddie" system. Real mature there. These are the people that articles started appearing in media outlets declaring them the worst fans over issues like the above.

And if you want a specific example, they were hoping platinum would go out of business and sending death threats to the company over bayonetta 2 being wiiU exclusive. There is no way other than trolling or an absolutely clinically extreme case of confirmation bias that someone could claim that's the more mature fan base. An amoeba has enough thinking power to see how ludicrous that is. All fanbases, specially when it comes to console wars, are pretty terrible. And really you're furthering that bad reputation by showing the arrogance to think you're preferred fanbase is the superior one.

Zobocop

#70

Zobocop said:

Damn patent trolls. These things are always so vague and describe absolutely nothing about the actual technology. I'm going to release a patent described as "game console using complete, life-like visuals" which will undoubtedly give me control of the entire games industry from next gen and on.

dumedum

#72

dumedum said:

@Yorumi I agree with you 100% but if you knew who it was about, you'd know these allegations and superiority claims are bull**** and keep coming up by the same two or three users that like to obsess around this website and spew nonsense.

Yorumi

#73

Yorumi said:

@dumedum I suppose I should probably pay a bit more attention to posting patterns. You just don't often see such unimaginably asinine statements that are so easily provably false.

Hotfusion

#74

Hotfusion said:

Calm down people. Since 2007 there were headlines about the Wii being taken of the market because of infringements.

It's just the UK. Even if the unimaginable happens, which is unlikely, it's no big deal.

Companies that win these cases don't usually ask for the product to be taken off the market unless it is competing directly with one of their own. In the unlikely case of this judgement being upheld Philips will take the money. Selling the system is more important because it makes them money rather than taking it of the market which leaves them with nothing.

Nothing will come of this to directly affect selling the Wii U. If the worst happens then Nintendo can simply drop the Wii bar and remote from the Wii U. It is hardly required in most games these days anyway.

Nintenjoe64

#76

Nintenjoe64 said:

I don't understand why people can't see why this is happening. It's not because Philips think Nintendo have stolen their idea, they just think they patented it first which a UK judge agrees with. Nintendo disagree and will probably find an appeal judge that thinks something different and this will carry on until the only winners are the lawyers.

ikki5

#77

ikki5 said:

this is weird... usually patent cases take at least a year to close... why did this one finish so soon?

Ryno

#78

Ryno said:

Good and hopefully we can get some real Zelda games once Nintendo is kicked out of everywhere other than Japan.

Untitled

Nintenjoe64

#79

Nintenjoe64 said:

Hey doubters,
The Wii Remote uses an infra red camera to detect the two infra red LEDs contained in the sensor bar and calculates pointer position based on the two blinking LEDs.
Simples.

Darknyht

#81

Darknyht said:

Yeah, I fail to see how the two are related outside that the Phillips patents are extremely vague to the point of describing just about any virtual representation on a computer.

The Philip system uses a camera and a cushioned glove to track motion on a 1-to-1 basis. Nintendo's Wiimotes use a completely different methodology to achieve a similar result by blasting IR signals from a sensor and the system calculating motion based on IR reception and gyroscope data.
If anything, these patents apply more to the Xbox Kinect sensor (camera tracking human body motion) or the Sony Move (camera tracking colored light).

I foresee an appeal on this succeeding.

Neko_Rukiafan

#82

Neko_Rukiafan said:

@electrolite77 How much of their earnings were from frivolous lawsuits? I ask this because at least out here in the Southwestern U.S. none of our retailers even sell Philips products anymore. :P

Nintendo_Ninja

#83

Nintendo_Ninja said:

Why would I buy any of Philip's crap anyway? Sony, Vizio, Samsung, and more make better stuff than they do.

Nintendo_Ninja

#84

Nintendo_Ninja said:

And for the record, Sony and Xbox fans are generally less mature compared to Nintendo or PC gamers. Want evidence? Go to IGN and read an article on a exclusive game for either company.

Neko_Rukiafan

#85

Neko_Rukiafan said:

Also if Judge Birss awards Philips with a sales ban of the Wii/Wii U I believe he should be fired since such an extreme punishment in a case that isn't simply cut-and-dry would be ridiculous.

electrolite77

#88

electrolite77 said:

@BinaryFragger

Exactly. Nintendo will find an appeal judge who sides with them. They'll appeal any injunction to stop Wii U sales. It could go all the way to the Supreme Court if there's a precedent involved, it could go to the USA's judicial system.

No need for anyone to panic yet.

electrolite77

#89

electrolite77 said:

@Rukiafan

The don't make many consumer products anymore, that's why. They make their money now from lighting and healthcare equipment (which is high margin). Funny thing is, I've been in the hospital a lot recently with my pregnant wife and when I noticed a couple of the machines (including one they use to trace the baby's heartbeat) were Philips I actually thought 'hey, there's a name I haven't seen in a while' :-)

http://www.whathifi.com/blog/is-philips-flogging-off-the-family-silver-no-its-just-going-back-to-where-they-started

Peach64

#90

Peach64 said:

@yorumi Like I said, the people I know would not react like that. The person sending death threats is probably some little kid. As for visiting IGN, no thanks. I'd rather see some more mature discussion here, rather than look at somewhere that's even worse and then settle for this. The comments here are childish, and calling someone else even worse hardly makes up for that.

As for 'my preferred fan base', I don't have one. I don't really get the fanboy mentality. I can understand if you're a kid and are only allowed one console and want it to be the best, but I don't know why regular gamers would ever want anyone else's games to suck, or for any other company to go out of business. I keep getting called a troll, but I try my best to provide balanced discussion (i.e. pointing out how stupid it is to call a company that have invented as many things as Phillips a patent troll). Dum Dum up there just goes into every topic and posts 'Wow Nintendo is great and are doing amazing' wether it's true or not.

midnafanboy

#92

midnafanboy said:

Damn philips really want to make a new zelda game don't they if there are suing nintendo.

Yoshis_VGM

#93

Yoshis_VGM said:

Ooh gosh, I hope this doesn't cause a ban on Wii U sales. This has the potential to not be good at all.

Yorumi

#94

Yorumi said:

@Peach64 you're not posting balance when you ignore everything someone else does just so you can then insult another fanbase because you've decided not to ignore that from them. I mean heck you said you're not going to look at ign comment sections because you know it will prove how absolutely stupid your comments about the sony/ms fans being more mature are.

You're entire post is literally "I read some comments here, and I know a couple people who have ps3's and they're more mature so that means the entire sony fanbase is better than the nintendo fanbase." You say you don't get the mentality while you sit here praising the sony/ms fanbase and attacking the nintendo fanbase. Your claiming to not be biased while making some the most absolutely biased comments on the entire site, and you wonder why you get called a troll?

Anyone with even the tiniest tiniest modicum of objectivity can see how terrible all the fanbases are. And yet you sit here saying the sony/ms fanbase would never hope a company goes out of business while those fans sit there and do it all the time, I even gave a specific example. Yeah real unbiased there. If you don't want to be thought of as a troll, then perhaps stop acting like one.

FJOJR

#95

FJOJR said:

Let's let them make a new Zelda game. We'll just label it as a comedy game.

Yorumi

#96

Yorumi said:

@Yoshis_VGM it won't, it's general sensationalist reporting. Unless a product is some blatant 100% ripoff it's not going to be banned. In the worst case scenario Nintendo either buys a license or makes a minor change to the hardware to avoid the violation. People just use headlines like that to get clicks. I would wager at any given moment there are dozens of patent disputes that could "threaten distribution of the wiiU."

BertoFlyingFox

#97

BertoFlyingFox said:

The UK judges' decision will be successfully appealed for sure. Philips wanted any patent infringement to stick, so they tossed three out in hopes the judges would agree to any of them. Only a UK judge did so far and his reasoning is too generic to consider it knowledgeable in any way.

If it was a different type of technology argued here, I wouldnt be so inclined to disagree with the judge. But this wont stick unless someone at Philips starts greasing pockets, they definitely got the news coverage they wanted though and that was the goal they were hoping for.

Captain_Toad

#98

Captain_Toad said:

@Peach64 heh, you'd be suprised on how people (even some you know all your life) can react sometimes. These kinds of things happen 2 everyone.

This better not do massive damage to the consoles i hope. I mean this case is shady enough already.

kereke12

#99

kereke12 said:

I find it funny that Philips took a long time to Sue Nintendo, its like what happened to Apple Vs. Samsung case. Apple was jealous of Samsung & they thought Samsung stoled there concept of design.

Tlink7

#100

Tlink7 said:

@Peach64 You are one of the few sane people in this damn thread... Philips isn't they only company doing this (Nintendo does it too), Philips isn't on the verge of going bankrupt at all, Philips isn't unimportant at all and you damn people aren't all judges... Jesus... I don't like this sort of action either, but it doesn't make Philips the devil incarnate.

EDIT: also, the jokes surrounding the CDi are really unfunny after a million times. They were made more than 20 years ago, certainly not by the same Philips people who work there now.

Whopper744

#101

Whopper744 said:

I really hate it when people get sue happy. It just shows how greedy companies are. It's just plain out sad.

Yorumi

#102

Yorumi said:

@Tlink7 I would argue the whole "we're all not judges" part. Not that everyone is of course but that implication that judges are somehow superior. I don't know how the UK is but in the US many judges, especially to lower courts, are political appointments, often times as a gift for helping whatever politician or party get elected. They're not engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, medical doctors, etc. I'm not trying to attack judges here but in many cases their opinions arn't really any more informed than any other person's.

Given phillips used two patents that were so obviously not related to the wii as part of this it does strongly smell of a fishing operation. They don't have a clear cut case, it's more like they went to court said "ok here we have all these patents, find one you'll rule in our favor over." It doesn't make them the devil as you say but it also doesn't exactly paint them in a good light either.

I still say NL should have someone with a bit of a legal background doing these stories so we can get some more context. They love to put up these stories all the time but we never really get any kind of informed analysis. I'd kind of rather they either get someone who can offer some informed opinions or just ignore the stories at all because no one would even know this case existed otherwise.

I'd also have a bit of trouble calling someone sane when they're denying something is happening that has been reported in numerous media outlets and is beyond obvious to anyone.

OracleOfTruth

#103

OracleOfTruth said:

'Wii' shall "See-D-i" what becomes of this. Right now, it looks like they're going through the 'motions'. I guess that means it's Nintendo's 'move' now. ;)

Sixthhokage1

#104

Sixthhokage1 said:

Just because a company is legitimate does not preclude patent trolling behavior, although the term is mostly reserved for companies that exist for no other purpose than to collect patents and sue. See Apple v. Samsung. In this case, there's bad blood between Philips and Nintendo and Philips filed for and was eventually granted a broad patent on motion control.

As for Peach64's claims here that the Nintendo fandom is immature, you must not look at any of the gaming community at large to truly believe Ninty's fans are the worst. Gamers in general have created a toxic environment of sexism, racism, homophobia, harassment, and elitism. While immaturity is common amongst Nintendo's fans, they are usually not as problematic as the so-called "hardcore gaming" crowd that is commonly derided with the "dudebro" stereotype. Gaming culture at large is immature and problematic in many, many ways.

Shadraw

#107

Shadraw said:

It is pretty clear that Nintendo didn't infringe on the patent of the first count.
The second count looks less convincing. From what I found, the patent was filed in 2009 but is very similar to the Wii remote setup.

The invention relates to a user interaction system, comprising:

◦an electrical apparatus;
◦a portable pointing device operable by a user for pointing to a region in space;
◦a camera taking a picture; and
◦a digital signal processor, capable of receiving and processing the picture, and capable of transmitting user interface information derived from the picture to the electrical apparatus wherein the camera is connected to the pointing device so that in operation it images the region pointed to.
The invention also relates to a pointing device for use in a user interaction system.
The invention also relates to an electrical apparatus for use in the above mentioned user interaction system.

http://www.patentbuddy.com/Patent/8537231

Which this is also why Sony/Microsoft won't be sued. It is specific to a remote like device with a camera in it rather than a camera that reads movement. It would almost appear that Phillips bought the patent to imitate the concept but I don't know when or if Nintendo had a patent for the tech. This would be why Phillips would want to stop distribution of Wii/Wii U. They could be wanting to sell their own product with a similar design and function. Pulling people in and possibly trying to, for example, sell their own product to the wii crowd.

I am unsure of what the third patent Nintendo infringed on is. I, personally, hope that Nintendo wins this in appeals. Patents are not universal between countries and there is no central orginization that monitors and enforces them. That makes patent disputes with international orginizations ugly and difficult.

Yorumi

#108

Yorumi said:

@Shadraw there must be more to it, if it was really filed in 2009, and is capable of standing up in court then the destabilization that would cause is unimaginable. The wii was released in 2006, there's no way at that time nintendo didn't have protection on their tech. More than likely they would have filed for patents for the wii and and it's tech during early R&D, possibly as early as 2003, but almost certainly no later than 2005.

Even if we go with the absolutely unlikely event that nintendo didn't protect their invention, there's no possible way you can patent something that's been on the market for years, claim it as your own, and prevent others from selling what they were already selling. That just can't possibly be the patent they're claiming, if it is then just wow.

IceClimbers

#109

IceClimbers said:

@Hotfusion The GamePad has the same sensor bar technology in it. It has it's own sensor bar around the camera. That's what the black strip is. If the worst were to happen, Nintendo would be forced to redesign the GamePad or drop the GamePad all together.

hydeks

#110

hydeks said:

I guess Philips needs to make money somehow? God knows their appliances really suck lol

From what I get from the article, this seems pretty stupid of Philips :-P

PlywoodStick

#113

PlywoodStick said:

@evanescent_hero Well, you see... This is what happens when the people who create and interpret laws have no clue what they're doing when it comes to understanding technology. It's as if all those years of law school were for naught, when it comes to this...

PlywoodStick

#114

PlywoodStick said:

@Yorumi No, you're right, even for Peach64's usual modus operandi, he made some wacky statements. Anyone who has the slightest inkling of technology's forms knows that IR tracking and gyroscopic sensors do not equal camera and body tracking sensors.

It's clear there's something more going on behind the scenes that has not been reported to the public. No one who goes through law school and passes could be such a brazenly gullible simpleton that they would come to this conclusion in their right mind. (Unless, they are someone who is technology illiterate, are a brown noser, are easily swayed by personal beliefs or politics, or have something to gain. No sarcasm.)

Sean_Aaron

#115

Sean_Aaron said:

@Nintenjoe64 I was going to point this out. Honestly it looks like crap. The problem I have is the lack of evidence of bringing a product to market. You shouldn't be allowed to patent an idea unless you're going to make a product off the back of it, I don't care if you're IBM, Philips or Leonardo da Vinci. Got an idea? Great, bring it to market, don't sit there with your plans in a vault waiting to sue the next guy who comes up with an actual product using it.

PlywoodStick

#116

PlywoodStick said:

@unrandomsam That's a dangerous thing, trusting authority figures based on credentials alone. Even the greatest of judges and leaders can easily be swayed by an errant gust of wind, when it comes to corporate power struggles and political thought landscapes.

Their position is a boon to them, but not to everyone. Arbiters are not necessarily morally or ethically good people. They're human too, they won't always make the right decisions.

Takerkaneanite6

#118

Takerkaneanite6 said:

Sigh............I swear that not everybody here in the U.K is a complete moron.............. I think this judge needs to do his research on what's what in terms of the patent in question and the specifics of the device, in this case, the Wii, with how the technology actually functions before he made his decision, because it's pretty obvious that the judge is clueless about this entire situation......

devinias

#119

devinias said:

No I just got my kids into gaming with the wii and wii u's help....now it may be banned in the U.S.? Arg!!!

PlywoodStick

#120

PlywoodStick said:

This case was pushed along rather hastily for being in the slow as mollasses law system, wasn't it? It seems like this ruling was fast-tracked...

That's probably how Mr. Jeroen van der Veer (Chairman of Philips Board) and Mr. Frans van Houten (CEO of Philips) planned this... with their previous experience, I'm sure they're all too familiar with knowing how to brush off negative publicity and questioning about environmental and law systems impacts...

ZenTurtle

#121

ZenTurtle said:

You're all whining about how bad Phillips is. There are many worse companies. Take MacDonald's for example- grossly underpaid staff, violation of court orders in India over secretly adding beef flavouring (twice), and responsibility for the rapid destruction of rainforests in South America for beef ranching (not to mention being vastly unhealthy). You all go on about how ridiculous all this is. You're right, and obviously something like this will be overturned. Just calm down here!

PlywoodStick

#125

PlywoodStick said:

@ZenTurtle It's a third world problem, too. Imagine if this type of patent manipulation ruling could be a precedent, applied to any situation involving international companies wanting to assert themselves or even create a monopoly... Any normal person or group of people from Bolivia to Sudan to Mongolia who want to create their own goods would be nearly powerless to stop this kind of "twist the law any which way" ruling. (It's already been happening.)

Even plant seeds have already been patented. Nothing is off the table.

ToxieDogg

#126

ToxieDogg said:

@Peach64 I agree with you entirely about Phillips not being 'patent trolls' but you're dead wrong if you think Sony/MS fanboys are more mature. There were loads of threats against Platinum Games over Bayonetta 2 being a Wii U exclusive, it wasn't just some angry kid. And do you not remember the massive flaming that went on from Sony fans when Devil May Cry 4 and then Final Fantasy 13 were announced for Xbox 360? Very selective memory you have, and that's why you rub certain people up the wrong way.

Vanya

#127

Vanya said:

And now I'm going to point out the an "IR Camera" in the WiiMote is little more than a supped up IR sensor that only senses bright points of infrared light. As opposed to an actual Infrared Camera.
Philips patent is far too vague. And besides that, the WiiMote tracks itself not the player's body. That alone should be enough to have the case thrown out. In point of fact the WiiMote IS INCAPABLE OF FULL BODY TRACKING.

ZenTurtle

#128

ZenTurtle said:

@PlywoodStick
I'll be blunt...
Lack of clean drinking water is a third world problem. Famine is a third world problem. Having to walk many kilometers to school every day barefoot is a third world problem. Subsistence farming is a third world problem. Land grabs are a third world problem.
...You have a first-world attitude. That reminds me of a poster by the charity Water Aid: "Water crisis? Oh, I thought you said Wine Crisis!".

PlywoodStick

#129

PlywoodStick said:

@ZenTurtle This is getting off topic, but just a few notes... You're wrong about all of those things. They don't just apply "somewhere else".

I suppose you are unfamiliar with the current situation about the water tables in West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, and Montana in the USA? In these places, the local tap water is risky or even dangerous to drink, depnding on where you are, due to fracking chemicals being unregulated. It's gotten to the point where millions of people now have to drink bottled water if they don't want a serious illness.

People starve every day in America. I live in the Washington, DC area, and famine is an everyday reality, even around these parts. Without our food bank systems, millions would starve. (Some people are starving anyways, since people on food stamps don't always get a good choice of food, and you have to be living in relative poverty to qualify. Being even slightly above the threshold disqualifies you, which is worse than being poor enough to qualify.)

Subsistance farmers exist in America, and they are being suppressed and uprooted by giant corporations. (I.E. Monsanto) The law is on the corporation's sides. Even if something illegal happens to you, the company lawyers can appeal indefinitely until you're bankrupt. It's happened.

Along the Keystone XL pipeline path, people's private property is being destroyed or seized. Even if it's illegal in some ways, due to NAFTA, the government won't help us, since Canada must supply us with fracked natural gas according to it's language. Since worldwide fossil fuel reserves have peaked, the American government won't hesitate to sacrifice people if it means getting more fuel.

In rural communities, not everyone lives near a public school, and/or have limited public transportation. America's public transportation infrastructure is hamstrung, after all. Children living in such communities must either attend a private school, or be homeschooled. If they can't afford private school, or have none of them around, or have no reliable method of private transportation, then they have little choice but to wing it.

Look around you. At least in America, it is encountering the same problems third world countries face. We are not infallible.

Nman161

#130

Nman161 said:

What was that Sony motion thing called? The PlayStation Eye!! A CAMERA!!!! I smell hypocrisy.

FroJake

#131

FroJake said:

Phallips is just jealous that Nintendo succeeded with motion gaming for the wii and that the cdi wireless controller sucked a fat one

kensredemption

#132

kensredemption said:

This thread went from denigrating Philips into flaming each other. I've never facepalmed so hard in my life.

electrolite77

#133

electrolite77 said:

@Nman161

Different thing. The Philips patent relates to a camera in the device, which the Wii U effectively has. Sony's system does not monitor trajectory and has no physical motion sensor so isn't covered.

devinias

#134

devinias said:

Just curious what are the realistic ramifications of this? Nintendo paying royalties of sorts? I live in the U.S. And would hate if Philips was allowed o restrict sales of the wii u.

ZenTurtle

#135

ZenTurtle said:

@PlywoodStick
I know that there are problems in the United States. In fact i agree with almost every point you just made.

The US has the biggest economy in the world. Yet there is little social security, which has been cut by the successive governments, Democrat and Republican. For what? To increase the already vast 'defence' spending. Many Americans want it raised, even though it is larger than all of the 25 next highest spenders, most of which are its allies. Not nearly enough is spent on its citizens, whether to invest in public services and infrastructure, or to provide even a basic social security net.

Then we come to its grossly underpaid workforce. If the minimum wage had increased in real terms since its introduction, Americans would have a minimum wage of around $20 an hour after tax. Really. And at the same time, many of the companies that underpay them have huge tax rebates.

I should also mention America's awful healthcare system. Americans cite it as the most perfect system in the world. While it is true that the insured are never denied healthcare, this ignores the fact that only around 50% are even insured. It is built on financial incentives, so people are referred for care they don't need. It is the most expensive mediocre care in the western world, which is not accessible for the poorer end of the population. Emergency care is available, but there is little beyond that for many.

Small farmers, put out of business by the likes of Monsanto are not subsistence farmers. Many of them are poor, but not in the sense that some people in the third world are.
I would agree that America has some problems, but they certainly are not on the scale of the real third world, and I hardly think it unreasonable that the world's most powerful economy and military should be able to take care of its own citizens...

That deteriorated fast, I hope we can leave it at that...

Aluwolf

#139

Aluwolf said:

@Peach64 Wow someone in this discussion who actually has a brain. Way too many raging preteen nintendo fans chomping at Philips.

Gamer83

#140

Gamer83 said:

@hydeks

Pretty much what I was thinking. Sadly, like many other companies today, Phillips was once great but has fallen completely. Its products are garbage now and this is a pathetic 'get rich quick' scheme.

retro_player_22

#141

retro_player_22 said:

When one patent troll dies, another came along. I'm sure Nintendo could appeal and crush Philips down to their knees.

Sixthhokage1

#142

Sixthhokage1 said:

@Gamer83 Philips is actually doing quite well, they just don't deal in consumer electronics anymore. Though if they aren't dealing in consumer electronics then they don't really have a reason for the relevant patents.

Psyclone

#143

Psyclone said:

@Aluwolf you really think that? then let me quote someone

"If Philllips didnt get the patent until
2011, how would Nintendo know in
2006? Should companies have to
comb through every patent and
patent pending to make sure there is
no possible way they are infringing?"

PlywoodStick

#144

PlywoodStick said:

On another note, I just remembered that the Philips Scuba VR headset exists... Watch out, Facebook and Oculus Rift! Lawsuit at 12 o' clock!

MAB

#145

MAB said:

Untitled

The only Philips product I have ever purchased was a electric shaver... It stopped working after 8 months so I went back to normal Schick razors ;)

SpookyMeths

#146

SpookyMeths said:

@MAB Weird. I also have a Philips electric shaver. I've had it for about 6 months. Worked fine at first, but now it holds a charge for about 5 minutes before dying on me with half a beard.

unrandomsam

#147

unrandomsam said:

@PlywoodStick Perhaps the thing is though unlike say a murder there is no sane way for lay people to make a proper decision about something like this.

(He acted sensibly in the other two cases listed on Wikipedia which have subject matter that I think is easier to grasp.)

I think they are ok the judges in Britain. (Much rather them than the politicians anyway or a situation where the politicians ignore all the expert advice like they do to our doctors).

whanvee

#148

whanvee said:

So a camera and a sensor ey?? Doesn't seem like the wii to me. Isn't it just and IR light that can detect where the IR pointer on the wii is?? Or am I being ignorant?? I know I've seen people use candles and such in place of the sensor bar so I just don't see where the camera part comes into place. Oh well guess we will see.

The thing is this has more of a chance of destroying Nintendo than the ps4, xbox one and lack of games all together. A lot of the money they have right now is because of the wii. So losing a sizeable percentage of that would be kinda crappy and could see Nintendo going bye bye. Before anyone says that they are making bank off the 3ds as well, just remember that they lost a case on that too and are having to pay a chunk of that change too.

ToxieDogg

#149

ToxieDogg said:

As some other people have mentioned, whilst I don't think Philips is a 'patent troll' as such, I do find it a little suspect that they single out the most successful device (Wii and it's motion controllers) for a lawsuit when it seems like Playstation Move and (even more so) Microsoft's Kinect also infringe on it's patents. Maybe some deal has been reached between them already, I don't know. If the worst comes to the worst though, I'm sure Nintendo would just pay Phillips royalties, I don't see them pulling sales of the Wii U in any territory, that'd just be crazy at this stage now the Wii U's starting to get some positive press and momentum going.

kukabuksilaks

#151

kukabuksilaks said:

@evanescent_hero the Wiimote has a small IR camera in it, it's tracking the IR leds in the sensorbar that's how it knows where you're pointing. so yes the wiimote does have a camera.

JosieC84

#153

JosieC84 said:

Xbots and SonySiders will be jumping with joy - god I despise them! I love Sony and respect Microsoft but really dislike their fans.

JosieC84

#154

JosieC84 said:

Damn you, Philips!! Why are you doing this while Nintendo are already in hot water??

Vincent294

#155

Vincent294 said:

@Yorumi So much intelligence in that statement. I bet Philips is on its last legs and willing to do anything to survive at this point.
EDIT: So they are doing okay. Well, still doesn't change the fact that their patents came second and the tech is notably different. I find it ironic how big patent trolling has become. Suing for something vaguely similar for a quick buck and attempt at a monopoly. Pathetic.

Cav44

#156

Cav44 said:

Dammit, now I have to hate on my kettle every time I boil it for a brew...
My thoughts are that Nintendo's appeal will work. If it doesn't, Philips will go after Sony and MS with one of the two patents each, in whichever country they have success. Nobody will see the sales of Wii/Wii u banned. Its an option for Philips IF they succeed but highly unlikely as, surprise surprise, they don't have a competing product, its just idea patents again which is why it winds everybody up so much.

Cav44

#157

Cav44 said:

Also, if the vagueness of Philips' patent is enough for them to win the case, surely Nintendo can do the same to Sony over the Move? I know the camera/sender system is the other way round but surely its a better example of blatant copying than the Philips idea police? I honestly would rather this didn't happen though, Nintendo keep the moral high ground, win the appeal and go about their business of bringing us great games.

electrolite77

#158

electrolite77 said:

@Nman161

Won't happen. It'll rumble on in the courts for a while yet and if Nintendo finally lose they'll settle. By the time this is finished Nintendo could be on the verge of launching a new machine....

Park_Triolo

#160

Park_Triolo said:

@kereke12 Apple jealous of Samsung... haha. This whole Apple/Samsung court thing was all planned from the very beginning. Look at all the media coverage both companies got. I'll bet you a raw fish restaurant trip to Pohang in Korea that Apple and Samsung are sitting/sat together having delicious dinners while smiling wide at all the cash flowing in and other companies struggling to gain attention.

Findonovan95

#162

Findonovan95 said:

Infrared =/= camera. Case closed. Judge is a failure. Appeal successful. End of story. Phillips cries, Nintendo laughs victoriously.

At least that's how I foretold it all happening. I mean I can use candles with the wii remote to point instead of a sensor bar (actually had to do this for a while, lol). Ah well.

Link506

#163

Link506 said:

Why doesn't Philips just go sue the Xbox 360 while their at it? It has Camera's AND sensors in the kinect. So by this statement, they can sue anyone who has a camera or sensor in their device! We all know Philips is dieing, but PLEASE, if anyone from Philips happens to view this post, know this: if you're gonna die, don't bring bring Nintendo down with you. That's a coward's way of dieing.

PlywoodStick

#164

PlywoodStick said:

@kukabuksilaks ...It's not a camera. It's a transceiver/transmitter. As mentioned by others such as Findonovan95 (and in the instruction manual for the Wii!), the Wiimote can interpret points of light, so two bright candles can actually replace the sensor bar... This can be seen and proven while calibrating the Wiimote onscreen pointer.

The calibration can also go way out of whack if it's done in direct sunlight, with spots popping up haphazardly on the calibration screen. If this were a camera type functionality, direct sunlight would not have such a detrimental effect on the wireless signal's interpretation, not to mention it couldn't work without the sensor bar, which the Wii can.

Ralizah

#165

Ralizah said:

The judge drives back home that night, and slyly smirks. His plan has been a success. Little do the fools around him know that the real man who was supposed to be presiding as judge in this case was bound and gagged in a secret location somewhere. He pulls into his driveway, pulls off his mask, and reveals that he is, in fact, Kaz Hirai, Master of a Thousand Faces.

AshFoxX

#166

AshFoxX said:

...I don't get it, what has Phillips made that "regards to recognising hand gestures and motion"?

ZenTurtle

#167

ZenTurtle said:

Oh please! This is capitalism and if you don't like it then that's your problem! It's how the corporate world works, and your beloved Nintendo isn't above needless during! Look at their YouTube policy, for crying out loud! If you care so much, read about the patents, and law! Only then can you make a valid judgment.

Sanquine

#169

Sanquine said:

LOL, people don't think Nintendo wouldn't sue Sony or MS when they would use the same technology? Typical fanboys..

Obito_Tennyson

#170

Obito_Tennyson said:

Next week airs another episode of Nintendo vs The World. Next up, Microsoft comes along suing Nintendo for using the "ABXY" buttons!

phaserborn

#171

phaserborn said:

Wii was out in 2006, why annoy Nintendo 8 years later? This is a pretty big jerk move on Philip's part. But at least Philips makes good shavers :)

unrandomsam

#173

unrandomsam said:

@Link506 Philips made a profit last year. Nintendo made a loss. (Sony and MS probably licensed it or were already part of a cross licensing agreement).

Poketendo

#174

Poketendo said:

Again, I´m ashamed to live in the same country as those idiots. Philips has no reason to do this whatshowever. Wii has been out for 8 years now (5 years since their first claim), Nintendo has enough issues, Philips knows very well this is ridiculous. They just knew they destroyed hundreds of WiiMotes using their horrible batteries (ruined 2 of my WiiMotes, half of those batteries started leaking), and they were like "Ok, then let's shut down the whole Wii." Come on! Nintendo once gave you permission to create Mario and Zelda games, and you ****** that up too! Why this again!?
Terrible company, terrible ideas, terrible. I hate them. I'm officially going to throw all my Philips products out the window! If for example Nintendo were to sue Sony for the PlayStation Move, they'd at least have some kind of acceptable reasoning. Philips has no reason to do this whatshowever!

Andrew_Cook

#175

Andrew_Cook said:

I have to laugh a bit at the assertion that a large or generally successful company can't engage in patent trolling. Critics of Rockstar Bidco and its backers Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony would like a word with you.

electrolite77

#176

electrolite77 said:

@Link506

For the 48th time....Kinect is a different thing, it's an IR camera in the Wii Remote that is the issue. Phillips is a long way from dying.

This information is contained in comments further up this page and on a little thing called the internet.

Henmii

#178

Henmii said:

Its what we Dutch call a "papyrus victory"! Okay, maybe Nintendo nicked some technology from Philips. That's bad, that's illegal. But did Nintendo use it for lightbulbs or hospital equipment? No they used it for a games-console, something that Philips DOESN'T make! And the Wii is as good as dead, so its much ado about nothing. I think.

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