Nintendo Scores Victory in Wii Controller Patent Lawsuit

By Joseph Mandour on May 17, 2013

game-controller-150x150 San Diego – Nintendo Co. Ltd. recently won a patent case against Motiva LLC when a panel of three judges rendered the decision that Nintendo’s Wii does not infringe on Motiva’s patents.  A Federal Circuit Court also rejected Motiva’s accusations that Nintendo had violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, a trade remedy enacted to prohibit unfair methods of competition and wrongdoing in the importation of products into the United States.
The two patents at issue were No. 7,292,151 and No. 7,492,268, both entitled “Human movement measurement system”.  The patents center around “testing and training a user to manipulate the position of the transponders while being guided by interactive and sensory feedback.”  The patents are related to a wireless hand control and motion based system for controlling video games.

The Nintendo Wii interactive home video game, released in November of 2006, uses a motion sensitive game system in which the player gets up and enacts the movement demonstrated onto a screen.

Motiva, a hardware and software company dedicated to video games, filed its first complaint, currently on hold, against Nintendo with the U.S. District Court in 2008.  Motiva then filed the case with the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2010 asserting the same claims but lost the case in January of 2012, which was then appealed.

In the Federal Circuit appeal of the case, Motiva tried to argue that it needed to pursue the litigation against Nintendo as a prerequisite to luring investors.  But the three judge panel comprised of Judges Pauline Newman, Sharon Prost and Kathleen O’Malley did not buy into this idea.  All unanimously believed Motiva was seeking financial gain in initiating the litigation as opposed to initiating a product launch using the patent.

In essence, Motiva failed to meet the requirements of Section 337 because under the statute, “the importation or sale of an infringing product is illegal only if a U.S. industry producing an article covered by the relevant IP exists or is in the process of being established.”  As well, the panel was not convinced any company was waiting in line to sign a license agreement with Motiva.

The panel of judges stated, “The evidence demonstrated that Motiva’s litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at encouraging adoption of Motiva’s patented technology.”

Motiva is still hopeful it will prevail in U.S. District Court when that case resumes.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement