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Philips Files Lawsuit Against Nintendo, Looking for Wii U Ban in America

by Ron Duwell | May 16, 2014May 16, 2014 3:30 pm PDT

Zelda CDi

Electronics company Philips has filed a patent lawsuit against Nintendo which charges the Japanese video game maker with infringing on its patent rights. If it succeeds, it will be looking at a total sales ban of the Wii U in America, which obviously won’t bode well for Nintendo.

The patents involved in the lawsuit are about navigation through a menu via “pointing device,” or exactly what the Wii Remote’s function was with Nintendo’s previous console interface. Other infringed patents include those which translate real-world actions into video game commands. How this relates to the Wii U I have no idea, but it sounds more like a problem with the Wii console than with Nintendo’s current platform.

“Philips has engaged in the field of applied electronics and has conducted research in areas relating to visual representation of spatial processes and to automatic processes,” the lawsuit against Nintendo reads.

“The present patents-in-suit stem from these fields of research and development and claims protection for an interactive system for which a user can remotely control devices in an intuitive manner. Such intuitive remote control mechanisms are used in present-day home video game consoles.”

Strangely, Philips also acknowledges that Nintendo has been using the motion remotes since the beginning of the Wii’s lifetime nearly eight years ago, but Philips is more concerned with a period of November and December in 2011 in which it approached Nintendo about the infringement and the company did not react the way it wanted.

How does it sound? Using a pointer device to navigate menus is what the Wii does, but Nintendo has been doing this for quite some time. Sounds to me like someone is just teething with frustration over its own inability to make a competent Zelda game, but I’m not sure how this will play out. If Philips should have its way, Nintendo will not be selling any Wii U consoles in America, so in other words, not much will really change, will it?

Editor’s note: Ouch. -Joey

Lawsuit Eurogamer

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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...


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