Small Firm’s Weemote Came First, But Steamrolled by Nintendo’s Wiimote

Everyone who follows the video game scene knows that the Wiimote is the unofficial nickname for Nintendo’s motion-sensitive Wii controller.

But have you ever heard of the Weemote?

As reported by Time, the Weemote (left) is a small TV remote control, specially designed for children by Fobis Technologies of Miami. The Weemote was trademarked in 2000, roughly six years before the launch of the Wii.

From the Time article:

Nintendo doesn’t actually use the term Wiimote in its marketing, but then, it doesn’t have to. The Internet takes care of that. Online retailers, from to used-video-game vendors operating out of their houses, advertise the "Wiimote" on their sites, openly or via more obscure means like customer product tags and posted comments.


As a result, says Fobis president John Stephen, since the Wii was released in 2006, the Weemote trademark has been so "diluted" that the Weemote’s sales, which are mostly online and total fewer than half a million to date, have fallen considerably. In fact, many Wiimote fans believe it’s the Weemote that’s guilty of the trademark infringement. "These days," says Stephen, "the little guy like us is wondering, What’s the point of trademark protection?"

What has been Nintendo’s response? GamePolitics put the question to John Stephen, whose firm manufactures the Weemote:

GP: Is there any legal action pending against Nintendo, or planned?

Stephen: First of all, we are not currently engaged in a  legal action with Nintendo or any of their resellers.  Our lawyers have mailed approximately 100 letters to sellers of the Wii remote and related accessories who use the wiimote name to market or describe their products.  This list includes all the major big box retailers as well as most of the specialty retailers.  These requests for cease and desist are required of us by law.  If we do not police and enforce our trademark, it could actually be taken from us legally so this is our obligation.  This obligation is very costly financially as well as in our time.

GP: Have you had any talks with Nintendo about the issue?

Stephen: Our approach has always been to contact Nintendo on this through our attorneys to see about reaching a business settlement, i.e. they purchase our trademark and we set out to rebrand our company. Our argument is that the damage has been done here (whether intentional or not) and that Nintendo has more to gain now controlling this mark then we do. They asked us to give them an offer which we spent a few months pulling together and after submitting that initial offer, they promptly decided they were not interested anymore and basically closed the door.  Though the name weemote is very precious to Fobis Technologies, can you imagine CocaCola with out Coke, or VW without the Beetle or Federal Express with FedEX?

Unfortunately, the reality is we have no leverage and they are already getting a free ride. So I guess their position is why pay for something that is already free!

GP: How has this issue affected you and your business?

We have spent over a year trying to do this in a moral and ethical fashion by talking to them purely from a business standpoint, .i.e.  with no threats of any kind.  This process eats deeply into our profits and productivity. As a small business owner who has spent the last ten years of my life trying to do the right thing and being passionate about our products, this really unsettles me and makes me seriously question why any innovator in their right mind would want to go down this same road? 

When we started our company, we fully believed that our intellectual property would be protected given we did all the proper registrations and due diligence.  My wife and I are both entrepreneurs as were our parents.  How do we encourage the next generation if this is our legacy?

In my mind, Nintendo may not have done any of this intentionally but it seems one would expect them take some kind of moral high ground in the matter. The fact they have registered for the mark in the European Community, have a re-direct on the domain name in Canada to,  in combination with freely using metatags on their own site would indicate to me a true slap in the face.

GP: We have a request in to Nintendo for comment.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    having a hard time faulting the little guy. It’s expensive to purchase and maintain a trademark. Everyone is on Nintendo’s side. Great, but this guy deserves a bone for not just rolling over like so many small companies do in the face of a giant company. Read up on Monster Cables if you want an example of Trademark abuse. This guy may not have a great case, but at least he’s trying in the face of overwelming odds. Sure he could just rename and move on, but that means putting out more money for a new trademark and then risking another big company rolling over him again. At what point does it just seem pointless? You can bet that Nintendo would be sueing this guy if he named his product the weemote within the last year….

  2. thefremen says:

     Their own TV is different. If I’m watching the NBA playoffs I don’t want my daughter to switch the channel to Cartoon Network. 

  3. Mauler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    One is a blue TV remote and the other is a rather unique control lacking the basic buttons that a TV remove would have plus a trigger on the bottom.  The Wii Remote isn’t as close to the Weemote as it is to any other remote on this planet (save for the really cool LCD touch screen ones).  There is nothing special about that design and they don’t even do the same thing.  And that is the important factor in the equation.  For it to steal consumer attention they have to run the risk of being alike enough in function for such a claim to be valid.  Nobody is buying the Wii Remote to turn on their TVs even by accident, again because the weemote is identical to an adult remote, which would have to be the case for this to hold any water. 

    To say that they are similiar in purpose is to artifically dumb down the definition of entertainment or control beyond the point of funtional use for modern understanding.  They do not do the same thing and they don’t even come close to doing the same thing.  You would need a weemote to turn on the tv so you can you your wiimote and nobody, not even the children for which the former was designed would ever pick up the latter for that purpose.

    And as others have noted, Nintendo isn’t the one doing it.  Have they taken the name wiimote for a url?  Sure.  Federal Express protected the name FedEx long before they ever used it internally as well.  Sometimes you have to protect what your customers call you as well as what you call it yourself.

    If anything he gains from the name confusion by a product that has a name that sounds like a popular product.  Tens years working on "gadgets for life" and all they have to show for it is a remote.  No wonder he wanted Nintendo to buy him out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What the fuck? Nintendo should appeal right to the Supreme Court. The Supreme court found that simply taking two existing inventions and combining them in an obvious way isn’t patentable.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It could be valid if Nintendo had anything at all to do with the word.


    Since Nintendo has nothing to do with the word, and doesn’t use the word, you seem to be tilting at windmills here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Since when is it Nintendo’s job to police someone elses trademarks?


    Too many people here seem to think Nintendo owes this guy a living for a word they don’t even use.


    Hi, real world called. They think you’re silly.

  7. Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    …Who among ous have never accidently stepped on an ant? I mean, come on nintendo wouldn’t hurt anyone intentionaly, it’s a true japanese company. I bet a buck that right this moment at least ten diplomats with gifts and appologies are trying to remedy the situation. Cause that’s the japanese way.

  8. Funky J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    See, now there’s a new definition of irony beyond "rain on your wedding day".

    On the one hand we have these moralists outraged over videogames and videogame content for making kids fat…

    And yet here is a device marketed and sold to children so they can learn how to switch TV channels from their couches, and people are annoyed that the ONE videogame device which has got people off their asses has an unofficial name which is similar to theirs…

  9. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    So now some jagoff opportunist wants to try andh ave another Wii controller, the one to play classic, memorable games, so they can make more money.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your talking about a product that has to DATE, sold less than half a million.  To a product that sells millions.  No one is going to confuse the two no matter how inept they are especially since one (Weemote) is only sold via internet.  Its in no way like you desribe.  These people had a crappy product that is probably at the end of its life cycle, so they figured they would try to get Nintendo to buy their name brand.  Nintendo thought about it but after they got the bill for millions they laughed and closed the door.

    If the "Weemote" was selling at minimum a million a year before the Wiimote came out I can see the problem.  At most they have sold a maximum of 500k units to date (meaning years of selling).  That tells me they have a crappy product, and are trying to find ways to make money from a dead product.

    These people are nothing but another bunch of beggers that attempt to manipulate the law into getting money.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, except for the fact the "weemote" is obviously got nothing to do with the "wiimote".  They look nothing alike and any sensible person would likely assume a naming cooincence there. If it was SHAPED like a wiimote and had buttons in the same spots I could say yeah that might be true but seriously this thing is as far away from a wiimote as a rock is from being an aircraft.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You got a point there… I mean for one who looking for a ‘kiddy tv controler" is going to type in "wii" instead of wee on a search? and what’s more if they do find a wiimote it’s fairly obvious it’s not what you were looking for. This would be like a guy making replica swords complaining a company making kitchen knives was trashing his business by calling their knives ‘blades’.

  13. Fallenone says:

    Did you not read the article? He clearly states how it is reducing sales. When you see an item that is a knockoff of something popular, don’t you feel a little disgusted? Those 10 dollar handheld games shapped to look like a Wii remote or an Xbox remote that plays crappy little digital games? Yuck, I would never support those losers and thier attempt to make money off of another popular product.

    That is the same thing that happens in this case. People who are looking for this type of product see this "Weemote" and think it is trying to use the Wii’s popularity to make sales, and thus people avoid this product.

    That’s why they lose sales.


  14. Hannah says:

    Looks to me like this product is marketed to parents rather than children, so I doubt that will be a problem.

  15. Fallenone says:

    Jeeze, Zack, you’re one of the few people in this post that has any sense. What is wrong with these people?

  16. Fallenone says:

    You are aware that Coca-Cola included Cocaine as an ingredient when it was first released…

  17. bpm195 says:

    Children are asking thier parents to get them a Weemote for their Birthday, but the non technically adept parents mistake this for a Wiimote and come home with a video game console. This not only decreases Weemote sales, but also leads to childhood depression as they have a new Wii but they can’t figure out how to turn on the TV.

  18. Hannah says:

    What I don’t understand is how Nintendo could possibly be responsible for the Weemote’s drop in sales.  The two products do not compete, and I certainly never would have heard of the Weemote without this controversy.

  19. Mauler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They don’t look alike, they don’t behave alike, they don’t interact alike, and they don’t run similiar equipment.  Yes, I have read up on trademarks and they really don’t have a leg to stand on.  Nobody is likely to confuse the childs remote with a wii remote and that is the standard on which most decisions are based.  He was looking to get paid off by Nintendo and they balked.  Now he appeals to the general public.

  20. Alteffor says:

    I feel bad for the guy. It’s not really Nintendo’s fault, as the internet coined the term wiimote, but still, the guy is suffering for no good reason and that kinda sucks.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well, you heard right. I’ve never seen a work of fiction with more plotholes than that miserable piece of drivel masquerading as a novel. I know of fourteen year old fanfiction writers who could do better…

  22. TextOnlySword says:

    I fail to see how Nintendo is responsible for what other people call their product. It’s not their fault; they didn’t ask people to start calling Wii Remotes Wiimotes, and they certainly don’t have to buy a trademark they didn’t ask for in the first place.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I call shenanighans on the fact that their product dropped in popularity since the Wii’s release.  I guarentee everyone reading this has never heard of the Weemote before, and now that the news of it is out there they can try and sell it.

    Can you sue over something like this though, really?

    Both are lame names, regardless.

  24. cppcrusader says:

    I think you may be right about "Wii" being distinctive enough that the claim wouldn’t hold up in court.  Apple has the trademark for iSomething, and companies that use iSomething style name have to license it from Apple.  However, I-Something, and I believe ISomething and i-Something as well, are not trademarked by Apple and are free to be used by anybody that makes a device that can plug into an iPod or generic mp3 player.

  25. bpm195 says:

    All this crap about how the Weemote is awful because it causes children to become couch potatoes is just as bad as the crap about video games making children couch potatoes.

    Anyway, Nintendo met their obligations under the law. They don’t use the name Wiimote in America, nor do they encourage the use, and outside of the US they’re free to use the name. No real wrong doing though it doesn’t appear they have good intentions. They could fix their douchebaggery by buying the trademark, but judging by how things work, I doubt they were offered a reasonable price. Further more the "Wii" in "Wiimote" is actually distintive enough that I doubt that even if they used it that the case would hold up court.

    Lets just hope that that the Weemote enjoys the publicity. Personally I wouldn’t mind having a simple remote so that whenever there are guests in my house I don’t have to be called down from my room everytime they want to change the channel or risk them ruining my set up.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Bah! Wee, schmee I say. I wasn’t aware that not only can a word be copywrited but any words remotely similar to it.  (uhoh the word remote is copyrighted too is it? :P)

    And like Vinzent said they do completely different stuff. The only thing they have in common is that they are pronounced the same.

  27. E. Zachary Knight says:

    It is the name not the object. With everyone calling the Wii Remote the Wiimote, they are stealing consumer attention from his registered trademarked product. They are also similar enough physically and in purpose to make a valid trademark dispute.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  28. Meggie (can't sign in) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My little cousin is 6 and knows what does what on the remote better than I. While I like the idea behind the product, I see a kid figuring a way around the controls on this thing out real quick.

  29. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Quick! You must battle! Nintendo, hit their Wee with your Wii, then it will become a Weewii! Heh. That joke sucks. Seriously though, this is bullshit. They have never used the term Wiimote to promote their product nor have they used it in manuals, or official websites. Except that Canadian one. That could fuck ’em.


    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  30. chadachada(123) says:

    I read about that, the woman that tried to sue was some horrible writer with very few sales, she just wanted a little spotlight and a lot of money

  31. Michael Brooks ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    QQ more about your trademark. Fans and the press dubbed it the Wiimote, Nintendo doesn’t even call it that. 

  32. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Umm…What’s your point? Do you not like the product? Do think the idea behind it is bad? I can’t figure it out.

    AS for the actual product, it makes sense. There are phones that work in a similar fashion. The parent programs the phone with preset numbers. Those are the only numbers the kid can call. Good idea.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  33. Sai says:

    What’s the point of trademark protection? I guess for small time businesses who sell products nobody wants to sue Nintendo over their controllers. First the Gamecube controllers now this?

    Somehow this conjures up memories of that woman with a crappy self-published fantasy book trying to sue JK Rowling over the word "Muggle".

  34. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    Funny how all these patent and trademark lawsuits are just coming out of the woodwork. One over the DS and two over the Wii controller.

  35. Anonymous says:

    "The weemote® TV remote for kids allows parents to set a specific set of channels for their children to watch – all other channels are then automatically blocked from the weemote®."

    "However, you can use the weemote® in conjunction with a product called the "TV Guard" to block front panel access to your TV set."

    Jesus CHRIST screw you assholes. Get the fuck out of business.

    I can only imagine just how much these dickcheeses asked Nintendo for. I want a C&D letter from them just so I can use it as toilet paper.

  36. Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wii versus Wee? I don’t see a trademark infringement, especially since the devices do separate things. One controls the TV while one controls the Wii. Couple that with the fact that Nintendo isn’t marketing it as the Wiimote….

    Sorry dude, but crying crocodile tears is not a sound business decision. Suck it up, walk it off, and either aggressively market your product or look for a new product name. There’s no whining on Wall Street.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I think for this dispute we should use a new system of judging.

    The "Weemote" kinda sucks. TV remotes for babies? What kind of target audience could that appeal to?

    The "Wiimote" is awesome. Cool people like it, if you want to be cool YOU should like it too. Dont you wanna be cool?

    Its obvious which side we should support.

  38. cppcrusader says:

    Foolish naivete to believe Nintendo wasn’t aware of this?  Perhaps post E3 ’06 yes, but before then most definitely not.

    The domain wasn’t registered until 12/1/2006, well after E3 that year during which the internet communities gave the remote the nickname "Wiimote".  Why shouldn’t they capitalize on it where it’s available to them?  Would you begrudge Coca-Cola for capitalizing on the slang of Coke?  While we’re at it, you don’t see Coca-Cola decrying the nickname "coke" for cocaine and claiming it’s causing lost sales.

    The official name is still Wii Remote.  Nintendo never refers to it as Wiimote, and it’s use as a redirect outside of the use is just that, a redirect for people that are too stupid to go to Nintendo’s url.  Now if they were using "" as a redirect also, then I could say that’s a shady move, but they don’t.

    Nintendo already was polite and was willing to buy the name, but clearly Fobis grossly overestimated the dollar worth of the name.

  39. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I completely agree. Nintendo is well aware of the rampant use of the term "Wiimote" yet they are doing nothing about it.

    Either they should purchase the trademark an make it an official nick name of the product, or write a press release/demand that all websites remove reference to the term and then give up the domains they have using the name.

    This claim is perfectly valid.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  40. Anonymous says:

    I say sue the company to shreds.  The wii totally desrves to destroy anyone who tries to change its name.  HAIL THE WII!

  41. Torven says:

    The only thing I think Nintendo might get hit on would be that they include the term Wiimote in the description tags for their American website.  In all honesty, the existance of the Weemote is probably the reason why Nintendo did not go with the term Wiimote in the first place.

  42. the1jeffy says:

    Sorry, I must disagree with all the Ninty defenders on this one.  Why is wiimote a registered domain in Canada, then?  Because in the US they knew they’d have to fight this battle.  Pay up, or put out a press release disavowing the nickname.

    It’s foolish naivete to believe the Nintendo wasn’t aware of this before hand. 

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  43. Voligne the Archon says:

    Oh, the weemote is for all those bright young soon-to-be couch potatoes, or the ones who werent born with a remote in their hand, you know, gotta expose em to the media early on otherwise their growth gets stunted /sarcasm

  44. ecco6t9 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Couldn’t the same be said about the two game developers who call themselves Climax?

  45. Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Many people aren’t.  Officially the firm deny it, despite it being a stone cold fact.  Then again this is the company that created Fanta for the Nazi’s because there was a shortage of the needed ingredients of Coke in Germany.  Another little fact you won’t find on the website of Coca-Cola.

  46. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    ….. a kid would ask for that thing instead of a game console?

    And I’d hardly blame that for lost sales. I mean, a TV remote for kids in itself sounds like a stupid idea.

  47. Oz says:

    I understand that guys concerns but it does seem that this guy is trying to play on people’s sympathy by using the "little guy" underdog. Playing on people’s heartstrings, and right here I am playing for him the worlds smallest violin.

    Sure Nintendo knew people will call the Wii Remote the Wiimote but Nintendo doesn’t use it at all, Wiimote is a community nickname nothing more. Yes Mr Weemote has a leg to stand on going after online shops etc selling "Wiimotes" but has no leg to stand on going after someone that doesn’t even use that name just because Nintendo didn’t do anything about it? Get real, what would they do? Try to censor people’s speach? Sounds like this guy needs a reality check.

    Sure one can feel sorry for him but Nintendo owes him squat. At the same time if I were Nintendo I would just buy the name anyways and market the Wii Remote as the Wiimote simply because its a good idea from a marketing point of view.

  48. Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Abit of a mix up in that first point…this is what happens when you don’t proofread and switch points midway through…

    "Am I, the maker of this fantastic sports equipment at fault for referring to my own product by the previously non-trademarked name "Wiimote"?" 

    Not wiimote…cuptastic. And the point is not accurate since Nintendo is not calling their product the exact same thing…oh well.

  49. Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    So if you trademark a name for your product (Lets make an example that I trademark a cup called the "Cuptastic") and then someone else comes out with a different product (say, an athlete’s cup called the Cup Fantastic) and people/consumers use the shorthand "Cuptastic" to refer to the athlete’s product, am I then entitled to anything? If the product is not directly marketed as the other trademarked title, but customers all refer to it as "Cuptastic" are they going to correct them every time? Are they going to point out a obscure cup? Am I, the maker of this fantastic sports equipment at fault for referring to my own product by the previously non-trademarked name "Wiimote"? Is it really Nintendo’s fault American legislature lends itself so well to lawsuits?
    Hell, it’s not even the same thing. No matter how you slice it, Weemote =/= Wiimote. Wee, as in small. Wii as in "Us". Would "Wemote" get the same treatment? Vealmote? Wheemote? Hemote? Hiimote? Emote? Iimote? etc.

    Seems like a way to try to get money. He even admits that Nintendo is doing nothing illegal. It’s also just natural that a consoles remote will be used in shorthand and just called "consolename"-mote, though the wiimote is talked about more than other controllers I guess. Expecting Nintendo to purchase any and all trademarks that "sound like what customers are calling" parts of their products is ludicrous.

    Great that he made a product, great it got sold. But fie on this lame attempt to bring publicity to a product that just plain creeps me out abit. Also, regular remotes with dozens of buttons are in my opinion a much better learning tool for kids. And if you’re afraid of them accessing your 24/7 live uncensored hardcore coprophile channel, then just…just stop subscribing dammit! (or use parental control options, lock the channel, hide the remote!). Does anyone else think a kid would be entertained by a kid remote for maybe 10 minutes…then just go find the regular remote?

    This just sums it up for me.

    "In my mind, Nintendo may not have done any of this intentionally but it seems one would expect them take some kind of moral high ground in the matter."

    So…pay you money…so you can feel better? Hey man, sucks about the trademark, sucks for you that a product came out that is more popular and uses a similar sounding name. But you know what? Doesn’t suck for us. If I make an operating system called "Drapes" I don’t expect to get sued by Windows…it’d be funny though (until the lawsuit bit…then it’d kinda get old).

  50. Anonymous says:

    Question: Who own the trademark "Wiimote" then, if Nintendo doesn’t own it?

    Can Fobis registered "Wimote" then?

  51. Justin says:

    So, here’s what I don’t get. The seller of the "weemote" is complaining that this trademark infringement is negatively hurting their business. I have a couple of arguments against this:

    1. The only negative consequence mentioned in the interview is due to steps that the makers of the "weemote" are making toward Nintendo. In other words, it wouldn’t cost them a thing if they had just ignored the "problem".

    2. To me it sounds like they’re more likely to get name recognition due to the coincidence. This product has been out for 8 years, no one has heard of it, and yet, now we have all heard of it. Sounds like Ninty’s doing them a big favor. I’d like to see their website traffic statistics from 200-2006 (roughly when the "Wii" was actually "named" to the public, and it’s controller revealed) and then 2006-early 2008 traffic, while the Wii had been named and launched, and then the last few months since this trademark news became public. I bet they’ve had more hits and more sales BECAUSE of Nintendo, and here’s how they thank them…

  52. odc04r says:

    Hah, no marketing degree I assure you.

    It’s not just about the product, this guy has put a whole lot of time, money and effort into his own company and now the signal to noise ratio thanks to the Wii is so high the chance of anyone thinking that he wasn’t ripping Nintendo off is quite low. So yeah in that case I guess it is due to marketing, but if you want to bring a design to market you have to deal with that at some point.

    The engineering aspect is more that it is his own company here taking the strain and a little 2 person company is going to feel that a lot more that a giant like Nintendo. I do not like the idea of putting a lot of sweat and time into designing/making anything myself and going through the effort of bringing it to market, only to have to change the whole plan drastically due to something like this beyond my control even though I had done everything by the book previously.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I call bullshit.


    Your design is still fine, your market is still there, but AS AN ENGINEER you’d be upset that YOUR NAME was used?


    Maybe the kind of Engineer with a marketing degree and no engineering degree.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Nintendo is a business, not a charity.


    I’d be fighting mad if, as a shareholder, my money was being spent on some longshot trademark deal for a word Nintendo doesn’t even use.

  55. Fallenone says:

    Actually, Nintendo would be sued if they named it Wiimote offically without paying Forbis for the trademark…

  56. Artifex says:

    So Nintendo should feel guilty about (and be held financially responsible for) what their customers and retailers call their Wii controller? So Nintendo should enforce speech now, is that what Fobis wants?

    Even if Nintendo were to market their controller as a "wiimote", Fobis Tech still would have very very little room to argue on.

    Fobis Tech isn’t interested in morals or ethics, they just want money for a socially driven coincidence.

    Also, if it’s really such a problem for them, and they claim lost sales on a product that has sold less than 500 thousand units over eight years, why doesn’t Fobis Technologies change the name of THEIR television remote to maintain distinction? It clearly wouldn’t harm their brand, plenty of companies change the names of their products.


    ps: Also, TV remote for babies and todlers? Seriously?

  57. Fallenone says:

    I’m sick and tired of people like you going around on sites like GP and Kotaku, telling the writers what content belongs on their site. Go make your own site. Then you can decide what belongs on it.

  58. Brokenscope says:

    Considering things like trademarks patents and intellectual property are something inherently political at this time. I’m going to have to disagree.

  59. SeanB says:

    While an interesting story, it has nothing to do with game politics.

    This story is as useless to this website as all the "<insert famous person here> bashes video games" stories of late.

    Sorry, i’m quite a loyal reader, but i’m interested in the politics.

  60. Jab49 says:

    One might argue that Nintendo should have named their product the wiimote in the first place. Wii remote is obtuse where as wiimote would make so much more sense. A company with marketing like Nintendo must have at least seen the idea. Perhaps they went to check the copyright laws and it was taken so they just said screw it, called it the wii remote, let everyone else call it the wiimote and avoided the whole issue. They have alot of money, aloooooooooooot of money, even if it’s 100% not their fault the least the could do is buy the copyright trademark and rebrand their product with a better name. wii remote is annoying to say and is asking to be made into a portmanteau .

  61. Tubatic ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I agree.  I doesn’t quite seem fair to hold Nintendo accountable for a popular, unofficial nick name for their officially named "Wii Remote" product.

  62. Corey says:

    What’s funny is that Nintendo itself is the only one who does not refer to the controllers as Wiimotes. The only place I ever hear or see the term is on gaming news sites and forum boards. If I were in Nintendo’s position, I wouldn’t want to pay money because consumers gave my product a nickname either. The official name of the controllers are Wii remotes so I don’t see where there is a legal problem.

  63. odc04r says:

    You may think it is a shitty product, and maybe for you it would be but the guy has obviously sunk a lot of personal time and effort into designing, making, and trademarking it. As an electronic engineer I think I would be pretty peeved if something I had designed and built got obliterated in name almost overnight in this way.

    He also seems to have been doing the decent thing in his dealings with Nintendo, why they couldn’t just throw a spare barrel of cash at him so everyone could get on with things and he could design something else is anyones guess.

  64. DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A few months to pull together an estimate  an offer for the worth of the company? They’re less than 10 years old, and have nothing more than a single product packaged 3 different ways? Then the other parts of Fobis seem to be nothing more than a single guy living in an apartment, that may or may not contain a chicken. (Okay… maybe not that last part, but gotta love Seinfeld). Seriously, "Do you own multiple computers? Imagine the convenience if your computers could talk to each other." Home networking? Mac consulting?

    This is nothing more than a guy who made a shitty product, gave it a shitty name, and got outshined by something similarly named, but WAY more popular. This is like the subway station complaining that Subway’s naming of sandwiches as ‘subs’ are driving customers away from public transportation. 99.99% of people aren’t mistaking the wii-remote for a weemote. They are 2 completely different products for 2 completely different demographics with 2 names that are completely different, but happen to have a single syllable that is pronounced similarly.


  65. Dark Sovereign says:

    The response would be "they did nothing to stop the misconception". Weak but possible.

    Sorry. "Wiik"

  66. beemoh says:

    You could argue that the enforcement of IP and the laws that relate to it (EG: mass piracy, fair use, public domain) are a political issue, but individual cases of infringment (such as this) aren’t.


  67. Anonymous says:

    Nintendo cannot be blamed for people calling their Wii remote a wiimote.  I understand what they are saying, but it’s ridiculous.

  68. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Actually, if you visit the official spam website ( ) they have a really good breakdown of the whole situation. Basically, they are fine with junk email being called spam as long as it is not capitalized.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  69. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, much as it pains me to again see a "lil guy" getting stamped, be it intentionaly or unintentionaly, nintedo really is free of blame here. It’s not like they planned that nickname, the net generated it on it’s own. Blaming intendo for it would just be silly.

  70. Tolazytoapplyforalogon says:

    I feel kind of bad for them but I don’t think they have a leg to stand on.

    The name wiimote came from the community and not Nintendo and the fact the two devices have completely different functions and are spelled differently.

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