Nintendo Is Being Sued Over Its Switch Controllers

rgMekanic

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Nintendo is being sued (warning, auto-play video) by mobile gaming accessory company Gamevice, claiming the detachable controllers for the Switch infringes on a patent it owns. Gamevice was created under the name Wikipad in 2008 and co-founded by the current CEO of Oculus VR Brandon Irbe. was granted a patent in September of 2015. Gamevice is demanding that Nintendo stops making and selling the Switch, and wants to be awarded damages.

Normally I just scoff at these "patent infringement" lawsuits as a way for a company to profit off of anthers success, but looking at the pictures of the Gamevice controller, they may really have a legitimate complaint. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

One of the company's products called the Gamevice works in a similar way to the Joy-Cons, using two controllers which can attach to and detach from Android and Apple devices. The Gamevice allows player to control their video games using buttons and joysticks, similar to a traditional gaming experience, rather than using the device's touchscreen.
 

MavericK

Zero Cool
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Yeeeah....this'll work well for them.

There are like a billion of these Android/iDevice strap-on controllers.
 

Goodlookinguy

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There's no validity in the complaint. The uses are quite different unless aesthetics is all that matters. I don't see how this is possibly damaging Gamevice. It's not like Nintendo is making an iPhone and Android controller.
 

Burticus

Supreme [H]ardness
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Well, a patent is a patent, and it does look a lot like the switch controllers.... even if they are 2 totally different products. Nintendo will probably cough up a little money and be forced to change the controller design or make them neon pink/yellow or something.

Unless, watch Nintendo whip out their own patent that pre-dates the Gamevice's. Tech patent battle royale!
 

Vaulter98c

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2009
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If this even gets admitted in any way I'm sure some money will solve the problem lol

"wants Nintendo to stop making the Switch" ... Yea, that'll happen...
 

cyclone3d

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I hope this completely backfires on Gamevice.. as is they are forced to stop selling their products AND have to pay all lawyer and court costs for Nintendo.

This bs patent-lawsuit trend needs to end. And the bs granting of super broad patents needs to end as well as well as the granting of patents for things that are applied for that have "previous art" to immediately invalidate them with.

And it isn't like they didn't know about this before the Switch was released... unless they were literally living under a rock for months beforehand.
 

yadnom

Limp Gawd
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352
Wait, what?

"Gamevice, which was created under the name Wikipad in 2008 and co-founded by the current CEO of Oculus VR Brendan Iribe, was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in September 2015, around a year before the Switch was first revealed to the market. Gamevice claims Nintendo has either directly or indirectly infringed on its patent. The infringed upon patents are not found in either the Wikipad or Gamevice products."

So it has nothing to do with the controller set up?
 

Goodlookinguy

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Well, a patent is a patent, and it does look a lot like the switch controllers.... even if they are 2 totally different products. Nintendo will probably cough up a little money and be forced to change the controller design or make them neon pink/yellow or something.

Patents also include usage, of which neither are similar. One holds or grips a mobile phone and has a plastic back to prevent the phone from falling out. The other snaps or clicks into a screen with a mobile OS dedicated to playing games. Even on the surface they are dissimilar. Nintendo will likely argue this point.

"The infringed upon patents are not found in either the Wikipad or Gamevice products."

So it has nothing to do with the controller set up?

It's likely that they produced the products without a "patent pending" message anywhere prior, hence the lack of the presence of a patent on the devices. It may actually damage their already weak case.
 

Exavior

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controller that attach to the side of a display so that you can use a tablet device for gaming. Seems the same to me.
 

Master_shake_

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Yeeeah....this'll work well for them.

There are like a billion of these Android/iDevice strap-on controllers.

just like there were a billion pump on waterblock designs.

then when aseteks patent went through there were infringing products and non infringing products.

patents win.
 

chenw

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The damages they claim is lost royalties, not lost profit. They are not direct competitors, unless gamevice can definitively prove that there is a significant number of customers who, instead of choosing Gamevice's controller to play on android, they bought the switch instead directly due to the controller.

The exact use does not matter. As long as it has all the features its claims have described, it fits the patent. The only thing use might be used is in determining direct or indirect infringement.

Conversely, prior art also does not care about the use, be it prior art's or the inventions, this is to prevent people from filing new patents on existing inventions whose difference is solely how it is used.
 

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
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Buy the company to get the patent. Shut it down and fire everyone involved.
 

Meeho

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While I find these patents stupid, I can't help but wonder how different tunes would be if it was Nintendo suing someone for infringing on their Switch controllers.
 

Reality

[H]ard|Gawd
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While I find these patents stupid, I can't help but wonder how different tunes would be if it was Nintendo suing someone for infringing on their Switch controllers.

You can't help but wonder? you know exactly what Nintendo would do here if the shoe was on the other foot.
 

Goodlookinguy

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While I find these patents stupid, I can't help but wonder how different tunes would be if it was Nintendo suing someone for infringing on their Switch controllers.

Personally, I'd respond the same way. I'm a Sony fan boy, not a Nintendo one. Although I criticized Sony for their lawsuit against Nintendo and was glad Nintendo overturned it. I find most of this patent anything to be crap logic against innovation in a world advancing this quickly technologically.

Edit: Thinking about it a little more, I'd actually probably criticize Nintendo more harshly for going after a small company. So...
 

w4ffles

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If we're talking about controllers that attach to the side of a device, there was the Guitar Hero add-on for the Nintendo DS

guitar-hero-on-tour-hand.jpg
 

Taldren

Gawd
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But both of these is an infringement of the XBox controller which they just cut in half and glued onto the sides of the device they want to use.
 
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