Nintendo Being Sued for Something or Other. May lead to ban on Classic controller sales.

Logan King
July 23, 2008

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It was already known that Nintendo was on the hook for $21 million in a patent suit over the company's controllers. A Texas judge last week denied the game maker's request for a new trial, and Bloomberg is reporting that the judge will issue a ban to halt sales of the controllers tomorrow.

However, if the ban were to be issued, it would not take effect until after a Nintendo appeal on the original ruling was resolved. Nintendo could also avoid the ban by posting a bond or putting royalties into an escrow account, according to Bloomberg.

The original suit sought to have Nintendo's Wii Classic Controller, Wii Nunchuk, GameCube controller, and GameCube WaveBird all deemed in violation of an Anascape patent for a "six degrees of freedom" interface device. A jury found that all of those products, with the exception of the Wii Nunchuk, infringed on Anascape's patent.


I quite easily believe it, as Nintendo was sued a dozen times or so when they first made the Wiimote public. What confuses me, however, is how the Wavebird, Gamecube controller and Classic Controller are what is being sued over. They are not motion controllers, and they do not offer any more than four axis of movement. I don't understand what the company is suing for, as nothing in the Gamecube controller (essentially a redesigned N64 Controller), Classic Controller (an SNES pad with analog sticks added) or even the Wavebird was new when it came out, much less now. Rumours say it is the analog sticks, but if that were the case far more companies would be getting sued. Even more oddly, the Nunchuck was part of the suit but the judge later determined it didn't infringe on the companies patents. Very confusing.


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