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Nintendo Sued Over Wii and Wii U Patents in Texas Court

Nintendo's no stranger to lawsuits, and it's going to be in the middle of another one -- this time in a U.S. District Court.

If you work in Nintendo's legal department, what do you do when someone hits you with a lawsuit? Is it more of a "not again!" feeling? Or is it more like a soft chuckle, knowing that the case will likely never go anywhere?

Either way, Nintendo (plus, more than a few major retailers) are being sued by yet another company over patent issues. As Tech Crunch reports, "ThinkOptical" is suing the gaming giant over numerous technological aspects of the Nintendo Wii? and possible the Nintendo Wii U, over U.S. Patent Number 7,796,116, which is also titled "Electronic equipment for handheld vision based absolute pointing system." If you've never heard of ThinkOptical, you're not alone -- but they claim that the Wii technology infringes upon their patents, which were used in the Wavit Remote.

More, courtesy of Tech Crunch:

ThinkOptic included two other patents in the case, as well -- one called "Handheld Device for Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System" (7,852,317) and the other titled "Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System" (7,864,159). These two, coupled with the '116 patent make up the basis for the Wavit Remote.

According to ThinkOptic, just about every part of the Wii infringes these patents in some capacity. That includes the gaming system as a whole, Wii controllers, the sensor bars, and even the games. ThinkOptic also gave Nintendo, and the court, a heads-up on the Wii U: apparently that, too, infringes on ThinkOptic's patents.

Other big names listed as respondents in the suit include Imation, Nyko Technologies, GameStop, RadioShack, and JC Penney. ThinkOptic is asking for an injunction against violating products, as well as royalties, attorney's fees, and damages for lost profits. As of now, all we know moving forward is that a jury trial has been requested.

Apparently, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas generally rules in favor of the original, earliest patent holder. But don't expect anything huge to come of this, as Nintendo's crack legal team makes Johnny Cochran? look like Chris Tucker. Or, they could just settle -- they've got the cash.

[Source: Tech Crunch]


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