UltimatePointer sues Nintendo for Patent Infringement Over Wii Controller

By Joseph Mandour on September 28, 2011

gamecube-200x150 Orange County – Nintendo Wii’s wireless controller is under attack in the Eastern District of Texas by UltimatePointer, LLC who alleges that the Wii’s wireless remote technology conflicts with its own patent, US Patent No.7,746,321. UltimatePointer alleges that its interactive direct-pointing technology has been infringed by Nintendo in the design and sale of the Wii wireless controller, which also employs interactive direct-pointing systems.

Launched in 2006, the Nintendo Wii revolutionized console gaming. Until the Wii’s debut, console gaming manufacturers had been primarily concerned with improving the bit rate and graphical capabilities of gaming systems. The Nintendo Wii, however, focused on gameplay. The Wii was successful in reaching a broader audience than its competitors from Microsoft and Sony. As of 2010, the Wii’s best-selling game, Wii Sports, had sold over 67 million copies.

The Wii’s success was due in large part to its innovative game controller, a wireless remote utilizing a combination of accelerometers and infrared sensors. Rather than employing joysticks and various buttons, the Wii remote allowed gamers to control the game by moving the entire controller, mimicking motions such as swinging a tennis racket or golf club. The Wii’s interactive gameplay made the Nintendo game system popular among various age groups and families.

However, Texas based UltimatePointer, LLC, alleges that the Wii remote infringes its patent for an “Easily Deployable Interactive Direct-Pointing System.” UltimatePointer describes its patent as a method for controlling the movement of computer cursor displays through direct pointing at the screen. Though UltimatePointer’s patent was not issued until 2010, the patent application was filed in May of 2005, prior to the release of the Nintendo Wii.

UltimatePointer’s patent infringement complaint also includes nearly two dozen other defendants including, among others, retailers Game Stop, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sears, K-Mart, and Target. Plaintiff UltimatePointer, LLC requests a “reasonable royalty” in addition to attorney’s fees and enhanced damages.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement