Nintendo has been embroiled in several lawsuits in the past concerning patent infringement, but this latest one just ended in its defeat.
A Dallas, Texas jury has awarded $10 million to iLife after concluding that Nintendo of America infringed the company's patented motion-sensing accelerometer technology that iLife claims Nintendo used for the Wii Remote controllers.
Nintendo Wii $10 Million Lawsuit
The Wii, for those who have forgotten, was the first Nintendo console to ever feature full-fledged motion controls. Playing a Tennis match in Wii Sports, for instance, involved swinging the remote as though it's a tennis racket. Swinging it in sword-like motions sliced fruits in Wii Sports Resort — and so forth.
iLife's technology was designed to detect if a person has fallen down and to monitor babies for sudden infant death syndrome, as Engadget reports. It had originally sought for $144 million in damages, or $4 for each Wii sold before iLife filed the lawsuit. It also sought to bring an injunction against Nintendo's use of the motion-sensing technology.
Nintendo has officially responded to the verdict. In a statement provided to Glixel, it said it disagrees with the decision and says the company doesn't infringe iLife's patent — and that the patent itself in "invalid."
"Nintendo looks forward to raising those issues with the district court and with the court of appeals."
The verdict comes nearly four years after iLife Technologies Inc. first filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo. It claims that despite being designed for monitoring purposes, its technology could be used in other applications and that Nintendo used it to create its motion-sensing Wiimotes.
It remains to be seen how Nintendo plans to formally respond to the decision in terms of litigation, but it said it "looks forward" to raise such concerns with the district court and court of appeals.
The Nintendo Wii is one of the most successful video game consoles in history, selling well over 100 million units worldwide. Part of its popularity was the novelty of motion-based gaming. It propelled Nintendo to becoming a household name once again after the measly success of the GameCube system, the preceding home console. Nintendo pushed motion controls into the mainstream landscape, offering unique and creative gameplay.
The Wii was followed by the Wii U, a successor that featured a standalone tablet as a controller. It also featured backward-compatibility with Wii titles. Unlike the Wii, the Wii U is considered to be a failure, barely managing to sell 15 million units worldwide.
Nintendo's newest console is called the Switch, a hybrid system that acts as both a home and a handheld console. Early signs say the Switch is going to be a success, unlike its predecessor.