Nintendo Wiimote Hit with New Patent Lawsuit

Nintendo once again finds itself the target of a patent infringement case.

As Cnet reports, Maryland-based Hillcrest Labs alleges that the Wii Remote infringes on Hillcrest’s patents for a motion-sensitive remote control device known as The Loop. A Hillcrest press release says in part:

While Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights.

GamesLaw has court documents available.

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  1. 0
    oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. 0
    LikaLaruku says:

    Fact is that the Wii remote is based on Nintendo’s failed debacle from the 80s known as the Power Glove, the Wii Fit is basedon their other failures like the Power Pad & the Rock’n Roller. I hope they don’t make a Wii VR portable resembling their Virtual Boy.

  3. 0
    Anonymous says:

    This is why I preferred the way things worked back in the time of Edison and the Wright Brothers, rather than make people nervous about a new idea in case it falls under some kind of intellectual ‘umbrella trap’, they actually had to produce a light bulb that worked or a plane that took off and landed, that encouraged industry and invention, the current methods stifle it.

  4. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The earliest date I can see on any of their crap is 2004 or so.

    I’d giggle like a schoolgirl if I saw Mattel coming back with a heavy countersuit involving the Power Glove.

  5. 0
    Craig R. says:

    A lot of people don’t approve of software patents, including people like myself who don’t visit Slash Dot.

    Maybe such lawsuits wouldn’t be seen with such general disapproval if there weren’t so many people – ie, lawyers – sitting on obscure patents just waiting to make millions when they’ve done squat with those patents.

  6. 0
    ScorpSt says:

    Personally, I’ve got to ask: Does Nintendo have any patents of their own? It seems like every time Nintendo, or any other company gets sued for patent infringement, everyone mentions the suers patents, but not the ones of the people being sued. Besides, Nintendo didn’t build the controller themselves, they commissioned the job to Gyration Inc, from whom they licenced the patents in the first place.

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

    Patents… prolly the most stupid thing ever invented. Maybe we should focus more on evolving the standards and teknologies of the world than building giant papper walls around the stuff we already have. I’d rather be just another citizen in the kingdom of heaven than a pitlord in hell. (im not religious but point being that we would have a much better place on earth if we realised that competition makes the world spin, not greed. It’s a fine line, if you are in the lead)

  8. 0
    point09micron says:

    How can there be five-to-seven different companies suing over what seems to be the same patent without fighting off each other.

    If you’d bothered to read the five-to-seven different companies’ arguments and the patents cited, you’d already know the answer to this.


    Could you do me a favor? ID yourself next time too if you’re going to take a swipe at people here.

    For some reason I can’t ever seem to stay logged in to this site.  Anyways, I’m taking a well-deserved swipe at the large subset of gamers who leap all over these stories to blast the intellectual property industry for no reason other than that Slashdot doesn’t approve of software patents.

  9. 0
    Freyar says:

    How can there be five-to-seven different companies suing over what seems to be the same patent without fighting off each other.


    Could you do me a favor? ID yourself next time too if you’re going to take a swipe at people here.

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

  10. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Oh what a surprise.  Somebody sues Nintendo, and suddenly every Joe Gamer on the internet fancies himself a patent lawyer, and declares "LOL PATENT TROLLZ LOL!!!1!", without even reading the associated patents.  From taking a quick look at the patents allegedly infringed upon, the embodiments described by the claims sound very similar to how the Wii Remote works (particularly the 611 patent labeled "exhibit 4" on GamesLaw).

  11. 0
    mogbert says:

    I don’t think this one has legs. It’s like a patent for computer based pointing device that uses a ball or optical tracking. It is so broad as to be meaningless.

  12. 0
    Voligne the Archon says:

    Isn’t it obvious? they had no idea how successful the Wii would be, it was after all very revolutionary. When they saw that stores would never again be in stock for the Wii (always sold out) they decided to see what they could get out of it.

  13. 0
    GamesLaw ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks all who came to our site for the court filings. Keep in mind the Wiimote v. Weemote issue is a trademark question, while the Wii Remote vs. Loop is a patent issue. It’s easy to want to conflate the two, but really this case is much more similar to the more infamous Wavebird patent infringement suit from the N64.


  14. 0
    DarkTetsuya says:

    Of course, if the wii/ps3 and their respective motion controls weren’t as profitable as they are, you really think they’d give half a rat’s ass?


    "Jack and listen are two words that don’t go together…just like Jack and sanity, Jack and truth, Jack and proof, Jack and win…" — sortableturnip

  15. 0
    Sai says:

    Okay so the products don’t look the same, behave the same, or even preform the same function but hey THEY’RE BOTH MOTION CONTROL! SUE SUE SUE! Last time I checked you couldn’t monopolize on a basic idea. This is just another small timer trying to cash in on Nintendo’s success.

    Maybe Nintendo should countersue and say Hillcrest is infringing on their idea.

  16. 0
    Kommisar says:

    This kind of thing reminds me of the Amazon "One-click" patent they tried to sue other online stores for copying.  But if you read the Amazon patent, the wording was like, "uses personal information stored on the clients machine to identify them to the server"… so… basically… you’re trying to patent web browser cookies which have been in use since before Amazon existed?!

    The real problem, as has been mentioned in other comments, is that the US Patent Office doesn’t have enough technical experts to know when a patent is being overly broad.  You can’t patent "motion sensing technology"… but you can patent a specific piece of technology that senses motion.

  17. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The USPTO actually has a surplus of funds collected through fees (not one cent from taxpayers) each year that our friends in congress take to fund other programs. 

    While the underlying facts of the post are incorrect, the conclusion is correct: the USPTO should be allowed to keep this money to hire more examiners and conduct better patent searches.

  18. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The US Federal government does not budget enough money to the USPTO, so what happens is that when patents are filed, there aren’t enough subject matter experts working for the USPTO, and lower-quality patents are then approved.  Until the US Federal government begins to allocate more money for the USPTO, the problem of patent trolling will continue indefinitely.

    Also, the US Federal government rewards the USPTO on the number of patents approved, so getting lower-quality patents through the system is another part of the problem.

    Note-there are some companies who will do try for patent trolling ANYWAY, but the number of patent trolls would significantly go down if more money was given to the USPTO and to remove the "more-patents-means-more-money" policy.

  19. 0
    Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    You are correct, sir. The stupid Anon should’ve learned on /b/ not to divide by ZERO. *sigh* Retard.



  20. 0
    Tom says:

    I came here to say that.  They actually have a product out that does something very similar to what the Wiimote does – it’s not like they’ve just got the patent and are trying to bilk Nintendo out of money.

    Sure, two people can come up with an idea at the same time, but it’s the one who has the foresight to jump through the patenting hoops that gets to develop the idea.  C’est la vie.

  21. 0
    Satoshi-kun says:

    Uses IR? Sounds a little like the Light Gun that came with some versions of the NES. Also worthy to note that although a bit flawed, Nintendo has used motion detecting devices in the 80’s as well, such as with the Power Glove.

  22. 0
    Phalanx ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This thing isn’t even for games.  It’s strictly for navigating TV menus.  The Wii uses the IR pointer for navigation, so they are not at all similar in the scope of this claim.

  23. 0
    Torven says:

    I can’t believe I actually read those patents.  The main body of the three remote patents say that the device will use a gyroscope mounted in a pair of gimbals.  Further down in the notes, they say that it could use a rotational sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, optical sensor, magnetometer or camera to detect motion…I don’t know much about patent law, but isn’t that a bit overly broad?

  24. 0
    M. Carusi says:

    Small companies need to stop this short sighted business with patents.  There’s some company that has a patent on 3D computer generation (I’m not sure on details), and they’re starting to hit EVERYONE with lawsuits.  The only reason Nintendo is being hit with lawsuits is the bandwagon chance of milking some money from them.

    M. Carusi

    Capitol Gaming

  25. 0
    FOXDIE Mk.II says:

    The Loop and the Wiimote have been around for around two years, and Hillcrest chooses now bring it up?  Nevermind the fact that they’re used for different purposes.

    Some companies just can’t help but try to milk Nintendo just for thinking up barely similar ideas…

  26. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    It is not really a sleeping patent. From their website it shows that they do have a product that they market out to other hardware makers for motion controlled tv interfaces.

    The one thing they don’t describe is the method used to make the motion control and that is where the dispute hangs. If it is not the same method used by the Wii Remote, they have no case.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
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  27. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "While Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights."

    I believe a more accurate quote would be:

    "Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the massive amount of money that they have earned through the Wii, Hillcrest Labs isn’t very successful and believes that they should have a slice of this revenue despite our product not being very similar to the Wiimote."

    I cannot stand these people who try and file sleeping patents based on a rough idea and then try and sue anyone who actually goes ahead with the idea completely seperately. If two people have the same idea unknown to each other, one cannot claim the other is stealing the idea.

  28. 0
    Rabidkeebler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The only thing that bugs me about all these patent lawsuits is the fact that these small companies arent suing each other over patent infringement.  I mean it almost sounds like there are multiple patents for the same thing since Nintendo is being sued repeatedly for the same thing.

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