If you've visited the site over the past couple of days, you probably noticed the story that a federal court in Dallas ruled a patent asserted against Nintendo’s Wii Remote as invalid. The court said that iLife Technologies Inc. was "impermissibly trying to cover the broad concept of using motion sensors to detect motion", nullifying a $10.1 million jury award against Nintendo in the process. It's an interesting story, and one which has caused a fair bit of debate amongst fans.
Following up on this, law firm and gaming IP specialist Dorsey & Whitney has shared a statement with us from Ryan Meyer, an intellectual property attorney at the company. He notes that this recent case is "a warning to patentees... that overly broad claims are more likely to be found to be patent ineligible". We've shared some of his comments below.
"The iLife ruling provides another example of the patent ineligibility of using conventional hardware to implement a conventional, abstract idea.
"The iLife decision is a warning to patentees, particularly with respect to computer hardware-implemented inventions, that overly broad claims are more likely to be found to be patent ineligible. As a precaution, patentees should identify the most inventive features of their invention and draft at least some claims directed specifically to those features.
"Had iLife been more mindful of the inventive aspects of its technology when drafting its claims, this case might have ended much differently. As the Court noted, iLife’s patent arguably discloses a preferred embodiment with inventive features, but iLife’s asserted claim was found to be invalid because it fails to include any of those features.
"iLife is procedurally interesting because, although Nintendo teed up the patent ineligibility issue in a motion for summary judgment, the Court waited to decide the issue as a post-trial judgment as a matter of law, without presenting it to the jury. The Court’s decision was partly based on expert and inventor trial testimony which emphasizes how evidence presented to the jury can affect even non-jury issues."
In response to the legal win, Nintendo said that it would "continue to vigorously defend [its] products", accusing iLife of "seeking to profit off of technology they did not invent".