Nintendo Loses Appeal In Motion Control Lawsuit

Nintendo Wii Lawsuit
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo can't ever seem to catch a break when it comes to lawsuits, patent infringements, and someone claiming that the company stole an idea or two. Well, Nintendo lost yet another lawsuit, this time for a case involving the original Wii-mote.

RollingStone is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals has denied Nintendo's appeal for the $10 million suit from iLife regarding the company's accelerometer patent infringement case. The suit alleges that Nintendo infringed on iLife's motion-sensing technology when the Big 'N' released the Wii in North America.

This particular development was four years in the making, when iLife Technologies sued Nintendo way back in 2013 for $44 million. The company, iLife, uses their tech to help prevent accidents with infants and the elderly, and in the suit it was claimed that Nintendo had infringed upon the company's patented design for the Wii's highly popular Wii-mote motion controllers, which utilized gyroscopic and accelerometer technologies.

Nintendo attempted to counter the suit by stating that the patent wasn't clearly defined, but the judge ruled in favor of iLife, putting the $10 million in the company's favor.

According to RollingStone, Nintendo still has an opportunity to appeal the verdict after the trial judge issues the final judgment.

This is nothing new for Nintendo. Three years ago the company actually managed to win a lawsuit against UltimatePointer LLC., who also sued the company for patent infringement for the Upoint device, which utilized a mouse and laser pointer for production design and professional workflow environments. Despite the Upoint device seemingly being closer in tech to the Wii-mote than iLife's designs, the Judge in the UltimatePointer case actually awarded the verdict to Nintendo.

Heck, you don't even have to go back half a decade to find Nintendo at the heart of a lawsuit. The billion-dollar company was just sued several months ago for the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con designs. Yep, shortly after release there was a lawsuit from the company Gamevice, claiming that the Nintendo Switch lifted the Joy-Con design from its Wikipad, which came out way back in 2013.

Nintendo hasn't always walked away Scot-free, but in this particular case it looks like the company got hit pretty hard.

Of course, while $10 million sounds like a whole lot, the reality is that Nintendo has plenty in the slush to cover the expenses, assuming it's something that the company is willing to do. As pointed out in the RollingStone article, the more likely of events is that Nintendo will attempt to pursue an appeal process to avoid having to pay out that much money, or attempt to settle out of court if possible, which would likely be the more preferable option for the game maker.

For now, it doesn't look good for the Big 'N', but on the upside at least this is for a two-generation old console that has been retired a while back and not for the hot-on-the-upstart Nintendo Switch, which is still getting its feet wet in the market. For now, Nintendo has not responded or commented about the court's decision.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.