Nintendo Loses to Philips Patent Case in UK Court
It was recently announced that Koninlijke Philips N.V. (known better simply as “Philips” has successfully sued Nintendo of Europe for two patents Philips alleges Nintendo has infringed upon, a system recognizing hand gestures as well as a “user interface system based on pointing device”
The user interaction system comprises a portable pointing device (101) connected to a camera (102) and sending pictures to a digital signal processor (120), capable of recognizing an object (130) and a command given by the user (100) by moving the pointing device (101) in a specific way, and controlling an electrical apparatus (110) on the basis of this recognition.
However, the company was able to hold on to the patent dealing with the modeling of bodies in a virtual environment.
According Philips spokesperson Bjorn Teuwsen, stated that the company had first brought these infringements to Nintendo’s attention in 2011, and were hoping to settle outside of court. “..but as that hasn’t worked out we had to take this step.”
According to High Court Judge Colin Briss, who presided over the case;
Nintendo offered no sound explanation on how it developed the Wii’s gesture and motion controls…The common general knowledge did not include a device combining a physical motion sensor with a camera and the reasons advanced by Nintendo for putting those two sensors together in one unit are unconvincing
Philips’ victory is part of a larger series of actions against Nintendo, the company taking action in Germany, France, and last month, the US. The U.S. suit should be in particular interest to readers as, aside from royalties Philips seeks to:
preliminarily and permanently enjoining the Defendants, their officers,
agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active
concert or participation with them, from making, using, selling, offering
for sale, and importing within the United States interactive virtual
modeling products and HCI products;
Nintendo would be forced to halt the sale of Wii and Wii U consoles, and any other products relating to the infringement.
Returning to the UK court case, Nintendo plans to appeal the court’s ruling, stating:
Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others…Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business,
An order for damages is announced to be issued next month.
It’s never good to lose a court case, but this case in particular will likely hit harder than others, especially if this case helps Philips gain ground in France, Germany, and the United States.
We here at purenintendo.com will keep you posted on this case as it develops in the future.