Nintendo faces its fair share of patent battles, which in most cases — not all, with a notable loss on 3DS screen technology — go the Kyoto company's way. Plenty of these disputes focus on the Wii and its various peripherals, which is more than likely due to the console's phenomenal sales success and its various controllers incorporating multiple features; companies seem to fancy a crack at claiming credit. It's a double whammy that keeps dragging Nintendo into court rooms.
The latest success in seeing off patent challenges is related to the Wii MotionPlus, with a judge in Seattle dismissing a case brought by Triton. It doesn't necessarily mean game over, as Triton could potentially appeal the decision; in any case, the official press release is below.
A patent-infringement lawsuit brought against Nintendo of America was dismissed by a federal judge in Seattle. Triton had alleged that Nintendo’s Wii MotionPlus accessory infringed one of Triton’s patents (U.S. Patent No. 5,181,181). Judge Richard A. Jones of the U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit following a ruling that rejected Triton’s legal arguments. Triton had initially filed suit in Texas, but Nintendo won a transfer to Seattle.
“We feel vindicated by the court’s ruling,” said Richard Medway, Nintendo of America’s deputy general counsel. “Nintendo’s track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the Triton lawsuit, when we believe that we have not infringed another party’s patent. Consumers respect Nintendo because we develop unique and innovative products, and because we respect the intellectual property rights of others.”
We'll see which patent battle comes next. We did think we'd take the chance to highlight how strange some patents can be, as when checking details for this article we found this inflatable horseback riding peripheral patented by Nintendo in 2009; we originally described it as "MotionPlus for your butt". We're celebrating Nintendo's MotionPlus patent victory with a picture of this sadly undeveloped accessory below.