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After having the heavy hammer of scrutiny come down at the hands of the judicial law, it has been determined that the lawsuit filed against Nintendo for patent infringement will not continue. Nintendo has won.
IGN is reporting that in a federal court in Seattle, Washington, Judge Robert S. Lasnik has ruled in Nintendo's favor regarding a patent lawsuit that was filed by UltimatePointer LLC.
As mentioned in the IGN article...
“ In 2010, UltimatePointer's patent for its "Easily Deployable Interactive Direct-Pointing System and Presentation Control System and Calibration Method" was approved, although the application was submitted in 2005, right before Nintendo launched the Wii.”
I'm completely unfamiliar with UltimatePointer, so I decided to do a quick Google search. I went to their website and scoped out a video of their mouse and laser pointer device called the Upoint. You can check out the demonstration video below.
Basically it's used for presentations and workflow programs. Or at least, the focus is highly aimed at using the device within a professional atmosphere.
It seems strange that UltimatePointer would then decide to target Nintendo over the Wii-mote when the Wii was designed explicitly for gaming.
Of course, UltimatePointer pegging Nintendo for patent infringement was looked upon by Judge Lasnik poorly and it resulted in Nintendo walking away as the victor.
Richard Medway, Nintendo of America’s vice president and deputy general counsel, commented about the case, saying...
“[Nintendo will] vigorously defend its innovations against patent lawsuits," [and] “[prevent] unnecessary and inefficient burden patent cases,"
Patent trolling, as it's called, is big business. Some businesses make it a habit of filing a bunch of patents and then suing whenever a similar patent pops up in the marketplace. It doesn't really seem like UltimatePointer is the patent-troll type given that they actually have a working device with a real-world purpose.
Even still, it seemed like a stretch that Nintendo would be infringing on their design given how unlike the Upoint wand is to the Wii-mote in terms of usage and functionality. They're only similar in the most rudimentary ways, and that's mostly in regards to both being wireless pointing devices. However the Wii-mote can also be used in conjunction with controller overlays and the wireless racing wheel for games like Mario Kart. Nintendo was obviously thinking ahead.
I wonder if this little legal spat will slow down Nintendo's progress and how they come up with whatever they're working on at the moment? It's already being rumored that they have a new console in the planning stages, and it's not surprising given that we're almost already approaching the halfway mark in the eighth-generation of gaming since the Wii U's release back in 2012.
As for the legal trouble with UltimatePointer... hopefully it's the last we'll see of fruitless suits aiming to make a quick buck on popular gaming companies – unless, of course, the lawsuit is fully warranted and actual infringement took place, sort of like with the PS3 Dualshock controllers and Immersion.