Patent trolls, beware. That is, if you decide to cross Nintendo's path in the legal system. According to a report released from the company today, a federal appeals court in Redmond, WA declared on June 13 that a patent held by Triton Tech of Texas, LLC was invalid in relation to Nintendo's Wiimote and MotionPlus technology. Triton Tech had filed a lawsuit in 2010 concerning their U.S. Patent No. 5,181,181, claiming that Nintendo's usage of the Wiimote in conjunction with the MotionPlus accessory was an infringement upon their intellectual property.
Originally, the 2010 lawsuit had been dismissed in a Seattle district court after the presiding judge ruled that Triton Tech's patent didn't fully describe a complete and functioning invention. The June 13 decision concerned Triton Tech's appeal of the first lawsuit's ruling.
The opinion of the appeals court (which you can read here) agreed with the district court's ruling. Essentially, both courts stated that Triton Tech's claim to the MotionPlus intellectual property was far too broad, and that the company's stated algorithm for their own technology wasn't narrow enough to describe the MotionPlus accessory.
From the press release:
“We are very pleased with this result,” said Richard Medway, Nintendo of America’s deputy general counsel. “Nintendo has a long tradition of developing unique and innovative products, while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. Nintendo continues to aggressively defend itself against patent trolls. After many years of litigation, the decision today reflects an appropriate resolution of this case.”