Anascape sues Microsoft, Nintendo

Texas-based firm alleges that console manufacturers have infringed on a dozen patents granted between 1999 and 2005.

Sony has already lost a lawsuit regarding patent infringement in its DualShock game pads, and now rivals Microsoft and Nintendo are facing their own legal battles over controller technology.

Texas-based Anascape filed suit on Monday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that both companies infringed on 12 patents it was granted between 1999 and 2005. The patents in question deal with a variety of controller technologies, including analog sensors, tactile feedback, and vibration mechanisms.

The complaint specifies which patents it believes each company violated, but it doesn't detail the alleged infringements. Anascape is seeking payment with interest for damages it suffered as a result of the alleged infringement and an accounting of Nintendo and Microsoft revenues that stemmed from the use of the patents. If a judge doesn't rule for a permanent injunction against the companies' use of the patents, Anascape is also asking for them to be made to pay a compulsory licensing fee to keep using them.

Court records indicate that a summons was issued to Nintendo and Microsoft on Monday, but the companies as yet have not assigned any legal representation in the case.

Written By

Discussion

276 comments
VelociBlade
VelociBlade

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Bladed_Dragon
Bladed_Dragon

Anyone else ever heard of an Anascape controller?

glennshin
glennshin

While the whole thing is absolutely sickening, he (anasacape is 1 man) played the system perfectly. Taking a slice of big businesses. Brad Armstrong of Carson City, Nevada is living the american dream and has found AN ESCAPE from the system. Well played, sir.

Dman360
Dman360

That's it, I'm no longer an american

triclops41
triclops41

someone should find the contact info of anascape so that we could flood them with emails or calls concerning what we think of patent trolls

tibore
tibore

THIS IS F%$^ING REDICULUOS, HOW MANY LAWSUITS CAN BE FILED AGINST THESE THREE CONTROLLERS. notice one thing about these companys suing ...... AMERICAN

jknowlton
jknowlton

Why is it that when Sony had a lawsuit brought up against them people jumped all over them (people such as Microsoft and Nintendo fanboys). Now the same thing is in process in reverse and Microsoft and Nintendo are the victims, not Anascape (whoever they are). I agree that they could be a small, money-grubbing company, but what if they aren't. I wonder what will happen if Microsoft and Nintendo settle or lose this...will it be "Shame on them" or "Poor them?" Just an observation....

grave_rob
grave_rob

i'm sure both companies (nintendo & microsoft) would be very interested in my situation if i were in a legal battle....pffffffffffffffft. & nerds wonder why they're single. they're gasping over video game legal news.

FoxURA
FoxURA

Nintendo isn't known for being a pushover when it comes to lawsuits. From what I learned researching Nintendo's history in the past, their team of lawyers has only lost twice in the entire history of the company, and that was back in the NES generation.

tycoonmike
tycoonmike

Well, it's the new American dream, get rich quick off the dime of big companies, so I can't really say this is rediculous, but even still, the company must really be in fiscal trouble to challenge all three major gaming companies.

EddyPee
EddyPee

Anascape? Ana...scape? An....asc...ape? Cant say Ive heard of these people.

jpn91
jpn91

Well, Sony's loss won't be a good herald for Microsoft or Nintendo, but I seriously question Anascape's credibility (the lack of information about the company, for starters). And remember, Microsoft did win the infamous "MikeRoweSoft" -case (Google it up, quite a good read). And for the way too many "Fony stuole ferom Nintndendo"-messages here: http://www.gamespot.com/e3/e3blog.html?topic_id=24600407 Shut up.

fireblazer236
fireblazer236

kails "Nintendo will probably be ok but microsoft dunno" That's a pretty dumb thing to say.

TysonZ123
TysonZ123

Anascape doesn't even have a webite or anything on yellowpages. Probably just a BS company trying to make a quick buck by having nintendo just pay them 5 mil instead of dragging out this suit.

personmann
personmann

anyone know how to use the US patent office database? I want to figure this damn thing out

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

Too bad you can't get a patent for stupidity, make a killing if anyone infringes. We have a perfect example of stupidity right before our eyes, time to sue Anascape.

SorrowsFlame
SorrowsFlame

Pretty soon humanity is going to have to start paying these little companies for inventing sheer stupidity.

Giggleface
Giggleface

who the heck is anascape? i can't even find any info on such a company. patent laws totally suck. the next game controller will probably made of nothing but 1 button because companies dun wanna put up with this crap (ex sony giving up on the rumble). stupid companies that do nothing but sue - like anascape, immersion and rambus profit from suing ppl and licencing their patents (aka so call "their" inventions) without doing anything. these IP (intellectual property) companies just hire a bunch of lawyers so they get rich from taking away from us. immersion "stole" the rumble from the PS3. features are removed because it costs too much to license (sony's rumble) and then the money nintendo and microsoft have spend to pay the lawyers to defend this stupid Anascape case is "wasted" because that money can be used to make Zelda or Halo better when it instead goes to feed the lawyers. i should make some patents too so i can get rich in the future. i should patent something like a controller with laser sensing touch that can detect mid-air hand movements or something like that and maybe someone will make something like that 50 yrs from now and i'll get rich

ShurikenX
ShurikenX

What the **** is an Anascape anyways? how can it say it has this when it never had its own game system.... unless they made CD-I which is highly doubtable(I was young when CD-I came out and only knew about it from school yes they had one.) Some simple research could prove patents to be crap.

Blaze_Hrimfaxi
Blaze_Hrimfaxi

taking MS to court is a bad idea. They have like a ARMY of lawyers.

jimmy813
jimmy813

Anascape has absolutely no grounds to sue. Nintendo's analog and rumble features have been used since the N64, which was released in 1996. Anascape's earliest patent only goes back to 1999! Plus, how many of us had ever even heard of Anascape until now?

Gencoil
Gencoil

"Hey, this Nintendo company sure has a lot of money... I bet if we sue them we could get a little slice of that!". What's next? Are they going to sue d1ldo (had to censor that word, apparently) manufacturers for putting a vibration function in their products? :P Or maybe all bicycle manufacturers should sue eachother for having wheels on their products.

wii___man
wii___man

a little late to be sueing 1999-2005 were only 4 months away from 2007 mabe in it with sony

MrNintendo2000
MrNintendo2000

How stupid is this? Can't small companies accept that Nintendo and Microsoft are successful? Hopefully Anascape will get sued back and go bankrupt :D

akif22
akif22

this is pretty pathetic they're probably one of these patent sharks just after money

Kbs64
Kbs64

This is Bull man! These technologies have been around for years. People can use other peoples idea and change it enough that it doens't violate a freakin' patent. If they couldn't. Nintendo would be the only company with a rumble feature. We all know that Microsoft and Nintendo are going to WIN. Does anyone Remember the Lawsuit between Peter Jackson "King Kong" and Nintendo's "Donkey Kong"? Well if you do.. your really old OR you know you're Nintendo history. The lawsuit was saying that Nintendo copied there King Kong idea? But guess who own ? NINTENDO It just comes to show you that you can take someone elses idea and change enough to make it original. So in short, it doens't matter what the similarities are. If you change it enough.. you can use it. FACT: Working at Anascape causes cancer. Now someone is going to sue me, right? Bring it on!!

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

Yes, I invented and patented loitering. Anyone caught standing around doing nothing will have to pay me a huge amount of money. Same with passing gas, I own that too. Also includes sniffing the released gas, the phrases "pee yew" and "who smelt it, dealt it," the holding of the noise in disgust, and any cause or reaction to the passed gas.

luigi1489
luigi1489

I'm hoping to become a lawyer, but it doesn't take any studying to realize that Anascape is doing this for money. Chances are, they're gonna pay their lawyers more than their gonna make, because 1) Nintendo's lawyers are pretty scary (do a search for past cases, if you want), and 2) Microsoft could pay SO MANY freakin lawyers its ridiculous. Quite frankly, Anascape doesn't have a chance.

papajones
papajones

any knowledgable laywers in the house. this whole patent thingy kinda getting outta hand. the date that it was filed and the date that it was issued. any thoughts you lawyers slash gamers? And that don't include you phoenix poser wright!

robfield
robfield

Why does it take these companies so long to realive that their patents may or may not have been stolen? Seriously, people find the smallest infringement and try to get some money off of it. I hope Nintendo and Microsoft win the cases...unless they clearly stole then that would be wrong.

PaulB_318
PaulB_318

Exactly bc226! I thought it was the Coleco Vision, but perhaps the it was the Intellivision. I don’t know, I didn’t have either of those crappy systems. Atari was where it was at. Then Nintendo!

WADDLE-DEE
WADDLE-DEE

Hey where does this guy live? Someone should go kick his ass and leave him lying in the street.

bc226
bc226

After looking further into Mr Armstrongs PDF it seems he has also copied the old Atari 7800 controller, and the old Odyssey controller, as well so if anyone should be getting sued it seems hes the one.

NDokmo
NDokmo

that picture is too funny

bc226
bc226

So after examining the pdfs it seems Mister Armstrong has copied the intelavision control that mattel used in the T.V game consol when it made one to combat Atari. So perhaps Mattel needs to sue him?

crills
crills

I EXPECT THIS FROM SONY SINCE THEY ALL WAYS STEAL OTHER COMPANYS IDEAS

playwrite
playwrite

um... doesn't immersion tech allready have the patent on the rumble stuff?

XitachiXUchihaX
XitachiXUchihaX

LOL , i cant wait till they lose this case , then get counter sued and have to go out of buisness : D

phSychO_AtDawn
phSychO_AtDawn

I don't think Microsoft would make the same mistake again,and Nintendo I know they're smart enough to know that they can get in serious trouble if they did this.

thefjk
thefjk

Ps3 wont have these poor useless money hungry companies chasin after them, dual shocks out... all it spells is trouble for anybody who has it!

nappan
nappan

"With power comes responsibility" Hey spiderman, that's a really nice thought but the reality of the corporate world is that this is par for the course. There is a reason why every major company on EARTH has a flotilla of laywers on retainer at all times. This entire issue is as profound as relieving yourself in the ocean.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

Microsoft will most likely buy stock and get out of it and then sell it and make some money and Nintendo will try and fight it and most likely lose.Not saying Nintendo is bad.Sony and Microsoft where in patent troubles and Microsoft did not get in trouble only Sony.So it will happen to Nintendo.They have less pockets and will lose.But it would be cool to see them come out ok.