Nintendo Loses UK Motion Control Patent Ruling To Electronics Giant Philips

Judge rules that Nintendo infringed on two Philips patents related to motion controls; Nintendo plans to appeal.

A United Kingdom court today ruled in favor of electronics giant Philips in its ongoing case against Nintendo, stating that the company infringed on two Philips patents related to motion controls. Nintendo did not violate a third patent related to "modeling a body in a virtual environment," UK High Court Judge Colin Birss said in court today, as reported by Bloomberg.

It's not immediately clear what penalty Nintendo faces as a result, but Birss said he would provide an update on the damages to be paid to Philips sometime in July. Whatever the case, a Nintendo representative said the company plans to appeal the decision.

"Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others," the company said. "Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software, and accessories and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business."

Philips is also suing Nintendo in the United States, claiming that Nintendo copied two of its technology patents. The first is related to real-life actions inside a game and the second revolves around an input system featuring a pointing device. In this case, Philips is asking for a block on all sales of the Wii U, as well as damages.

This is the second major patent lawsuit Nintendo has lost in as many years. Last year, a jury ruled that Nintendo's 3DS violated patents held by former Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita. He was initially awarded $30.2 million in damages, but this figure was later halved.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
327 comments
AndreasRufus
AndreasRufus

Better late than never, right Phillips? Bigger problem: Even if Phillips DOES have a patent, they did NOT do anything with it. That's just a pin in the *** with the whole patent system.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I'm beginning to hope they end up bankrupting each other in court. Motion controls were the worst idea Nintendo had since giving Mario that ungodly "Italian" voice.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

This sucks. I hate it when a company who has a patent on something that they will never ever actually release themselves tries to jump on the bandwagon of someone who not only did produce it, but produced it better than they ever would have.


I also know this is how things work in the business world, but I have a hard time thinking Nintendo stole the tech as some people are saying. It works the same with music. When you are writing a song, it's all too easy to get into the same kind of groove and chord progression as someone else has already done, and then you release or compose a song that sounds very close to what someone else has already done, but in your mind it's completely original.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

This may be Nintendo's way out of the Wii u, recall it do to patent issues as opposed to discontinuing it do to poor sales

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@b74kd3th Not going to happen. They don't want a "way out of the Wii U" when they've got some system sellers and other potentially highly successful products on the way. They'll buy their way out before recalling and discontinuing the system.

pterois3
pterois3

@b74kd3th Exactly, no one would blame them at this point. Afterwards they would be free to release their true Next-Gen console.

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

Philips CD-i 2 is going to compete next gen too bad it would be crappier then atari jaguar.. Philips can fill their hips with the crap they always put out in the name of video gaming..

demondogx
demondogx

Once again this shows how badly patents need to be reformed

pterois3
pterois3

They will probably offer the Wii U without the Gamepad at this point for $199-$239. If they lose in the US as well. 

TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

Maybe Nintendo will be forced to scrap this motion gimmik bs... Nintendo might just be old school Nintendo once again...

(We hope)

Dedicated controller, and mass first party games... motion "optional"

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

Award Phillips money for damages if Nintendo did steal the tech sure but, blocking future sales of basically any Nintendo system with motion controls is beyond stupid. There is more at stake here than just $. What are current owners of the Wii and Wii U supposed to do? Throw their system away because they can't buy a replacement controller? I mean what was Phillips going to do with the tech anyway? They'll make more money off of the lawsuit than they ever could have actually using the tech themselves. I don't know anyone who owns anything made by Phillips. I mean what were they planning on using it for? Motion controlled light bulbs?

axelgrey
axelgrey

@bdrtfm They've been using the technology in their high-end TVs remotes for past 3 years or so.
They are the ones that put in the cash to create the technology in the first place - they own it, they deserve it.
Check the past of this case first - they did not sue Nintendo right away and wanted to keep it off court but Nintendo did not want to share cash for using their tech.

TransformerRobo
TransformerRobo

This is bullshit!


The Wii was released in 2006, and Philips' vague as hell patent is from 2009!

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

@johnlewis107 @TransformerRobo  Anyone remember Michael Doyle? The guy was smart enough to see how the web was going to form and filed a patent for "webpage interactivity". He then sued every corporation that had anything to do with the WWW because he had a patent that basically said he owned the internet. He got $521 million from Microsoft alone! How stupid can these patent people be?

johnlewis107
johnlewis107

@TransformerRobo  As far as I could tell, it was filed in 2003 and accepted in 2011.

 The patent number is 8,537,231 if you want to look it up.

johnlewis107
johnlewis107

Philips own the rights to putting a motion sensor in a remote? How do these stupid vague patents keep getting accepted?

kingtrax
kingtrax

Patent laws are idiotic and rarely held up as proof of anything other than their own stupidity.  It's way past time the US revamp the US Patent laws completely.  So I have little faith that the UK laws are any better.

pterois3
pterois3

They could release Nintendo Fusion sooner and the have the most powerful console in the market for at least 3-4 years depending on release.

pterois3
pterois3

@Deadlysyns87 @pterois3 Something exists! They're just delaying so not to lose money on it because of costs but  now there's no helping it.

E3 2015 can't come soon enough.

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

Philips can go screw themselves like donkeys." Block all wiiU sales " that is a little tooo much. If they are talking about  wii reomte plus technology, then are too late since wii days are over.

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

Philips made one of the worst and expensive crap consoles of its time. And to not have patent can may have resolution to give part of sales not freezing Wiiu sales it's going to the extremes of bieng a looser

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Sevenizz What article are you reading? Nintendo didn't steal anything. They're being accused of infringing a patent.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

It's still stealing - so they should be punished.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

How is it too much? Nintendo stole. They should be rewarded for it?

nintendians
nintendians

if they block it, hardcore Nintendo fans going to riot.

nintendians
nintendians

@Sevenizz  better than those whose always play mature games only and acting that their mature enough when their not.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

A bunch if 8 year olds and fatties in their 40s. Oddest riot ever.

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

IF they won, nintendo may actually get in serious trouble 

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

They'll just have to pay a fine which will be halved after the appeal.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Block all Wii U sales?! What the hell?! Are Philips looking to get into the console market themselves or something? That seems like quite a drastic demand.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Do you like being stolen from?

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Stealing is not 'being a jerk'?

imajinn
imajinn

Oh they must of been waiting on the new CD-I to use that technology. Note the sarcasm. I think they are still mad about the suck Zelda & Mario games they had.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Or, mad that Nintendo blatantly stole their technology that costs millions in RnD.

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

Companies and people sitting on their patents who never turned them into an actual product. The patent system needs reform across the board in all countries. It all just boils down who spends the most money in court anyway.

Falru
Falru

Asking for a block on all Wii-U sales is just absurd. Asking for that alone just makes me hate Phillips outright.


Basically saying "we just want you to die entirely, and give us tons of money on your way out" rather than actually defending what is supposedly rightfully yours.

tony56723
tony56723

@Falru And this is after Phillips butchered Mario and Zelda lol No but seriously them asking for a block on Wii U sales is ridiculous 


jlenoconel
jlenoconel

@Falru Philips is the scum of the earth.  Funny thing is, this is only going to make them look much worse by doing what they've done and are trying to do.

hystavito
hystavito

@Falru Not taking either side, but just wanted to mention that asking for a block of sales of a product is not uncommon in these kinds of cases.

Ha2e
Ha2e

Phillips has inspired me. Im going to patent "something" used for doing "something" while doing "something" and sue the first person who makes something

STBadly
STBadly

@Ha2e I already patented the post you just used.  Welcome to Sued-ville; population: you!