While the answer to the question is most probably NO! A small company with a patented mouse-like product believe otherwise. The company ‘Interlink’ applied for a patent in 1997 and successfully received it in back in 2005, which describes a device that is held in one hand, has a trigger, and also a features something similar to laptop mouse pad or mouse ‘nipple’ (in legal technical speak it could be either).

In the company’s opinion Nintendo’s Wiimote is too similar their device. As you can see by the description of the “mouse” it does not contain any motion sensing or onscreen pointing, only a trigger on a handheld device like the one of the Wiimote, or on a gun. Hopefully gunsmiths will not take action, as they can be a violent bunch.

As interlink feel they have been cheated out of masses of earnings they are asking a hefty ransom. They want “three times the assessed damages including interest” and for all sales of the wiimote to cease; rendering the Wii unplayable. They must really hate the Wii.

Now while this is a serious accusation with a big price tag, I can’t see this holding up when it goes before a jury: the resemblance between the two devices is minimal. As time goes by it gets harder and harder to concept a new idea without it looking like something else. Hopefully this lawsuit will fall on his head so that technology can continue to evolve and we will be able to play on our Wiis.

[source next-gen.biz]