Nintendo game controller sparks patent lawsuit
A U.S. electronics device maker has filed a lawsuit against Nintendo of America Inc., alleging the motion-sensitive controller for the video game company's new console infringes on its patent.
Interlink Electronics, Inc. of Camarillo, Calif. filed a statement of claim with the U.S. District Court in Delaware that alleges that Nintendo "manufactures, uses, offers to sell and sells controllers for use with the Nintendo Wii video game system that infringe U.S. Patent No. 6, 850, 221." The patent was issued to Interlink on Feb. 1, 2005.
The statement of claim, dated Dec. 4, includes a copy of the patent and associated technical drawings for a "Trigger Operated electronic Device", which depict a device similar to a television remote control with a trigger under the front end.
Nintendo's Wii (pronounced "we") video game console uses a motion-sensitive controller that resembles a TV remote control, which has a trigger on the underside of the device. Gamers can swing the device like a sword or wield it like a gun and press the trigger to execute an action in the game world.
According to the documents filed with the court, Interlink claims that Nintendo's "infringement of the patent is unlawful and willful [sic] and will continue" unless the court prevents it from doing so.
Interlink claims lost royalties, reduced sales and profits, and is asking the court to issue an immediate and permanent restraining order against Nintendo to halt the alleged infringement.
The device maker also seeks unspecified damages, interest and other costs, which the companyis askingthe court to triple when it renders its judgement. Interlink is also asking for reimbursement of court and legal costs associated with the action.
A spokeswoman for Nintendo told CBC News Online late Friday she was unaware of the lawsuit and that she did not expect the company would be able to immediately provide a statement.
Spokespeople for Interlink could not be reached for comment.