Sony and Nintendo face controller patent suit

 

Nintendo and Sony have been slapped with a lawsuit claiming that both companies infringe on a patent filed in 1996 by the Copper Innovations Group.

The lawsuit, filed in the Pennsylvania Western District Court on 27 December 2007, concerns a 'hand held computer input apparatus and method'.

Patent 5,640,152 claims a "method for remotely controlling a function of a computer monitor or other equipment in response to transmissions from less than all of a plurality of transmitters remote from said equipment".

In essence the patent describes a way to sort the inputs to a system from a group of transmitters by designating and comparing identification numbers assigned to each transmitter.

According to the suit, the technology used to connect the Sixaxis controller to Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Wii-mote to Nintendo's Wii violates the Copper Innovations Group patent.

The Blu-ray Remote Control and Wii Nunchuk were also named as infringing products.

It is unclear why Microsoft has not been named in the suit for its Xbox 360 controller, but some have speculated that it is because the device is not motion sensitive and does not use Bluetooth.

The suit will be particularly bad news for Sony, which has just ended a long patent spat with Immersion over the rumble feature used in PS2 controllers.

Copper Innovations Group is seeking financial damages, interest and legal fees, as well as an injunction prohibiting Sony, Nintendo or their agents from further infringing on the patent.

All parties were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Copyright ©v3.co.uk


Sony and Nintendo face controller patent suit
 
 
 
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