JAPANESE GAMES COMPANY Nintendo is under investigation by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) for allegedly violating two patents with its Switch console.
Accessory maker Gamevice has filed a complaint with the ITC claiming that Nintendo's Switch and Joy-Cons stamp on two of its patents related to detachable game controllers.
"The products at issue in the investigation are controller systems with parts that attach to two sides of an electronic device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and the parts fit into a user's hands and have gaming controls," the ITC's announcement reads.
Gamevice, best known for its Wikipad mobile gaming controller (above), is requesting a seek and desist order against Nintendo, which could see sales of the Switch console banned in the US.
However, a victory for Gamevice is unlikely. Unlike the Switch's Joy-Con controller's, the firm's detachable smartphone controllers can't be used independently, and don't work unless hooked-up to a smartphone or tablet device. The Joy-Cons, on the other hand, can be used wirelessly, and come with a bunch of additional features such as an 'HD Rumble' vibration feature and IR sensor.
The only real similarity between Gamevice and Nintendo's controllers is that both attach by sliding them down from the top on either side of the device.
This isn't the firm time Gamevice has taken aim at Nintendo. Back in August last year, the firm filed a complaint against the gaming giant over the design of the Switch, alleging that the console's hardware violated patents for its Wikipad device and detachable controllers.
This case was voluntarily dropped in October, perhaps because the firm thinks it has a stronger case this time around. µ
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