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UK court rules that Nintendo's Wii controller infringes Philips patents

Patents Court delivers Bob-ombshell to Japanese firm
Mon Jun 23 2014, 14:21

JAPANESE GAMES CONSOLE MAKER Nintendo has lost a patents lawsuit brought by Philips, with the UK Patent Court ruling that the firm's Wii controller infringes the firm's motion control and gesture-tracking technology.

Philips confirmed the UK court win, and said that the patent in question relates to the motion tracking found in the Nintendo Wii controller, as well as its optional Motionplus attachment.

A spokesperson for Philips said in a statement seen by Reuters, "It's about a patent for motion, gesture and pointing control that we make available to manufacturers of set-top boxes and games consoles through a licensing programme.

"We'd been trying to come to a licensing agreement with Nintendo since 2011, but since it didn't work out we started legal action in Germany and the UK in 2012, France in 2013 and in the US last month."

Philips was unable reveal what will happen next, but it hinted that it is seeking financial compensation from the Japanese games firm.

"We've requested fair compensation for the use of our patents," the spokesperson added.

However, Nintendo has been quick to announce that it will appeal the ruling, and was keen to point out that it has long respected "the intellectual property rights of others".

A spokesperson for the firm said to Gameindustrybiz, "On 20 June 2014, following a trial heard before Mr Justice Birss, the UK Patents Court found that the Wii, Wii U and Wii Remote infringe two patents ('498 and '650) asserted against Nintendo by Philips Electronics.

"Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgement 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."

This is a blow to Nintendo, although it has recently received some good news - with Mario Kart 8 reportedly having boosted sales of its Wii U console by "more than 90 percent", with the game having shifted more than 1.2 million units in less than two weeks. µ


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