Nintendo pointer patent suit on hold

Activity stayed pending possible revisions and re-examinations of claim at the heart of dispute over pointing device technology.

Patent fights are a fact of life for hardware manufacturers these days, with Sony and Nintendo both losing suits over their controllers, and Microsoft opting to settle at least one such case at the cost of $26 million. The latest patent suit to surface, as reported by GamePolitics, sees an Illinois man suing Nintendo over his patent on a "method for operating an electronic machine using a pointing device."

Image from the patent at issue.

Originally filed in March, the case is currently on hold pending the outcome of a US Patent and Trademark Office re-examination of the patent. That process was set in motion by iPod maker Apple in a separate suit Martin brought against the company over alleged infringement of the same patent, according to an unopposed motion to stay the proceedings filed by Nintendo. The re-examination may tilt the case in either direction, as Martin is looking to expand the patent with 14 new claims, but the patent office could also amend or cancel the patent's existing claims.

The patent's abstract describes a gaming system that has an amusement mode and a gambling mode, as well as a touch screen. The system would also have a GPS system, allowing access to the wagering functions only if the system were located somewhere gambling is legal. That feature would be particularly useful if the units were installed on planes, boats, and other transportation methods that move through areas where gambling is legal. The patent was originally filed in August of 2003.

While the patent title specifically mentions a touch screen, the suit doesn't necessarily involve the Nintendo DS. When contacted by GameSpot, Martin's legal representation confirmed the Nintendo Wii was an example of a product that he believes infringes on the patent. He added that Nintendo's product line is being assessed for other possible violations.

Before the proceedings were stayed, Nintendo responded to the suit by denying that it had violated the patent, saying the patent's claims are invalid, among other defenses. As of press time, the publisher hadn't responded to GameSpot's request for comment.

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Discussion

115 comments
TenP
TenP

I think that's a Mullet Gonzalez.

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

I thought the person in the picture was a dude wearing a coonskin cap. Turns out it's just a terrible drawing of a woman.

Meteronthegreat
Meteronthegreat

This is getting out of hand. Every week I see a new "this retard is suing Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft for patent crap"... on patents they havent touched in years. Do they seriously just wake up one morning and say "hey, I think I wanna file a law suit today". Sad thing is... the moron will probably win... and this will never stop. Go American legal system.

shabulia
shabulia

I blame the courts for letting such a frivolous lawsuit even come to fruition. Here we go. I'm going to patent an idea for a game right now. The game involves a young boy in mythical times that goes on a quest and fights demons. He ends up with the girl and saves the land. There's my idea and it's in print. Now, anytime any company makes a game that fits my insultingly vague description owes me millions and millions of dollars. If they don't pay me, then I will sue them all. Square Enix, Atlus, Nintendo, Microsoft, Blizzard, Capcom, Konami, Sony, EA, Activision, Midway, Atari..... and the hundreds of other comapnies out there, I'm watching you all!!! (What a load of CRAP!)

shabulia
shabulia

What gets me is that these people are coming out of the woodworks with nothing to show for it and then saying how real companies have used their idea or infringed on their patents. I would understand if someone stole a patented idea for a movie script or something, but this is just ridiculous. Microsoft paying 28 million dollars for some guy that says it was his idea to have a vibrating controller. What's that about? Now Nintendo is the target because of a touch screen? Touch screen technology has been around for years. Why now is this an issue? I'll tell you. It's because someone wants their slice of the pie, even if they have to lie to get it.

tidyspidey
tidyspidey

what an idiot! I absolutely agree here with you DBGT301 - that someone can just jot down an idea on paper and not actually build a working model and then claim patents when someone else actually makes a working example of a similarly described product is just stupid. They're leeches, pure and simple.

DBGT301
DBGT301

When a person/company issues a patent they should be given a decent time frame in which they have to produce a working model of the idea, otherwise their patent should just be deleted/destroyed. As it is, years later people can just (try to) leech off companies that actually make the money off the products.... Patents should also have to be worded more specifically instead of all this vague jargon crap they're allowed to use, and they should have to conflict very precisely before people are allowed to issue court orders based on them - at the moment apparently they don't, hence the above article *rolls eyes*

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

RSebire Me personally, have meet many pantent holders, who boast about pre empting other, so their patents become profitable. Its like making apatent for an oxygenator for space, anyone can do it, you dont really need techinacal prowess, just a couple of forms filled out in over complicated language, terminoligy and phrases. They know this and are taking advantage. In 100 years time when nasa try teriforming a small moon, they wouldnt be able too, because id own the oxyegenator. I would sue, get loads of money, a fell cool. I wouldnt care that ive probably put the human race back a 100 years. So i hope this guy and the vast army of other like him get whats coming to them. Or does somebody own the patent to Karma? This was an amazing comment and I thankyou for posting. I couldnt agree with you more brother. This entire thing is becoming increasingly frequent and more and more ridiculous the more you hear about cases like this. I am going to patent my butt and sue everyoe for ever taking a picture. I mean come on this is soooo stupid.

Sky_King_64
Sky_King_64

Okay, seriously ppl... this guy sketched and patented a table with a hinge and a board, emitting magic lines onto this poor woman's lap, so now he's suing Nintendo??? Come on, he can't even count to 60! What is this world coming to...

VirtuaCast
VirtuaCast

Maybe this guy can do a better job then Nintendo.

black_ice23
black_ice23

this guy doesnt even know which one infringed on his product hes calling out the wii for a touch screen last time i check wii didnt have a touch screen unless my wii is holding on me

dnteatyellwsnw
dnteatyellwsnw

"RSebire In 100 years time when nasa try teriforming a small moon, they wouldnt be able too, because id own the oxyegenator. I would sue, get loads of money, a fell cool. I wouldnt care that ive probably put the human race back a 100 years." This isn't going to happen though, patents have lifespans and its usually only 10 years or so. That's why after so long of having a patent or copyright, you either have to pay an absorbent amount of money to repatent it...or it becomes available for everyone to copy. In 100 years, if you patented something now...everyone would be able to make it htemselves...i know you just exaggerated but still

legonate11
legonate11

I don't see how any of the stuff patented relates to either system, when you look it over. Makes me glad, though, to be related to Otto Schmitt, a man who left ideas lying out so others would "steal" them and they'd get made anyway with less effort on his part. By the way, his Schmitt trigger is used in computers like you're using now.

RSebire
RSebire

Me personally, have meet many pantent holders, who boast about pre empting other, so their patents become profitable. Its like making apatent for an oxygenator for space, anyone can do it, you dont really need techinacal prowess, just a couple of forms filled out in over complicated language, terminoligy and phrases. They know this and are taking advantage. In 100 years time when nasa try teriforming a small moon, they wouldnt be able too, because id own the oxyegenator. I would sue, get loads of money, a fell cool. I wouldnt care that ive probably put the human race back a 100 years. So i hope this guy and the vast army of other like him get whats coming to them. Or does somebody own the patent to Karma?

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

This is ridiculous with this guy. Nintendo didnt steal crap. They are completely original in what they wanted to do. Also if this was a big deal then why is this guy just now filing a lawsuit. Because he is full of it.

manwhowins
manwhowins

What?! The guy thinks that Nintendo, a Japan-based company, stole the idea for the Wii from him, some nobody from Illinois! Give me a break

Leo_Colt
Leo_Colt

Let me guess, the "pointing device" is hidden inside that wig?! Really, these crazy old men need to stop suing Nintendo. All it's doing is forcing them to pay a little extra in legal costs for their manufactured army of lawyers. And that patent is nonsensiscal. It also appears that this man can't even count...

halomonkey1_3_5
halomonkey1_3_5

really hope this guy wins and doesn't settle this out of court

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

Patents are ridiculous, anybody can patent pretty much anything from placing a button in a particular ergonomic location to applying a specific numerical method to a domain of problems. While many patents are stupid they will get to court and it's cheaper and faster to settle. Patents as they stand stifle progress (where as they are only meant to stifle competition). The whole concept of patents needs to be revised. There is minimal check for the validity of a patent and yet once made it can be used file all kinds of law suits, worse yet because of the technicalities involved stupid patents can win. This is a perfect example, some sort of machine operated by pointing, the fact it takes more than thirty seconds to dismiss this kind of nuisance suit. The reason the suit doesn't involve the DS is that the pile of stupid patents Nintendo itself filed for that pre-date this patent.

Losarii
Losarii

Kazooiedog..agree with you all the way. It's really frustrating to hear people filing law suits over absolutely everything they can think of.

kazooiedog
kazooiedog

This is kinda ridiculous... I'd bet the guy doesn't even fully understand how either the Wii or DS works. And does the thing the guy filed a patent for even exist? I doubt Nintendo would go looking through the US Patent Office files looking for ideas to steal (ideas that haven't even been fully physically manifested)

acarrillo
acarrillo

is like! the future the interactivities programs nice work

Latkingz781
Latkingz781

Wow, he just wants to mooch off of Nintendo

DeanSMASH
DeanSMASH

It's truly a pathetic state of affairs. The patent has no valid prototype, just a little scribble of a guy with a mullet poking a pad. We use 'touch' technology all the time, why is it so special when a company earning money does it?

demoman_chaos
demoman_chaos

The guy who drew that marked:: 58-A wig 59-A Chair 60- He forgot 60, he needs to go back to school and learn counting 61-A possible piece of plywood 62-A hinge.

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

Nintendo Rep: Uhh sir? Nintendo: yeah. Rep: Someone else is trying to take a bit of our big money-pie... Nintendo: Is it for Paper Mario? Rep: No sir, it is a patent infingement. Nintendo: Call the attorney back! We got another one...

Mr_Upstage
Mr_Upstage

@thekey Shut up. Just shut up. Sony fanboys are as stupid as Nintendo fanboys, so please don't think you're making yourself look any better.

lion2447
lion2447

First of all the patent doesn't sound all that exciting. Second, touch screen technology has been out there a lot longer than this patent has been in existence. It may not have been so much in homes, but industry has been using it for a long time. Finally, agreeing with many other respondents, the patent shouldn't even be allowed to be a patent unless there is some sort of prototype in the works or at least have a time line on it. Thus, if nothing is done with the patent in a specified time that it be thrown out and allowed to be used by someone else. By the way, I think I'll go and patent teleportation technology and wait for some free cash on that. LOL.

Falco_648
Falco_648

This will end up like the paper mario lawsuit.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jeremiah06
jeremiah06

come on people be honest with your selves if you saw an easy way to cash in from a old patent you got years ago but was unable to use for some reason you would be right in this guy's shoes I know I would

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

Ah, nothing like the mixture of vagueness and a revolving door patent office. What happened to creating a working version of your idea before your patent would have approval. So where is it? You shouldn't have the right to patent an idea in your brain if you haven't provably created something with it. If he had, there shouldn't have to be this thorough evaluation; just compare the two and ask "is this using the concepts this (allegedly) older patent came up with first?" From what I've seen, hell no.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@resident-shell The problem it your comment is 100% accurate. His patent is for a finger and, a touch screen on a swivel connected to a table, that is why the lawsuit is completely bogus.

Vexx88
Vexx88

I can sue everyone. I patented technology =.=

thekey
thekey

@RotaryRX7 These nintendo fans can dish it, but they can't take it. These people can't stand the truth.

resident-shell
resident-shell

The only pointing device I see in the illustration is a finger. As far as I know, there's only one person who has a patent on the human body, and that's Joe Pesche. But seriously, will someone explain to me what this alleged "pointing device" is supposed to be?

pourya_ahmadian
pourya_ahmadian

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

you know when i first heard about this i was like well they violated the patent. however after reading this article it is clear to me now that this guy is a money hungry jerk who is just crying wolf. Please, the only reason why he is sueing is because he didnt think of putting it into video games first. Nintendo needs to send a samurai on this guy and then kick him in the groin.

Code_Geass_CC
Code_Geass_CC

Nintendo, I hope you crush this guy into oblivion. Make him pay you money.

Code_Geass_CC
Code_Geass_CC

People are morons. The guy won't get anything anyway.

nikefreak
nikefreak

Points of interest in this case: 59 - chair 61 - touch-screen 62 - hinge 58 - ughly 70s hermaphrodite thing gambling their life away The case makes much more sense now, seeing that illustration. :\

angelGP32
angelGP32

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

XenoLair
XenoLair

WHAAAAT??? Why do ppl want to get money this way? **** off and get a job, sue Nintendo for stupid stuff like this -..-"""

Stabby
Stabby

Oh, now I understand why people patent things. Basically they come up with something they couldn't possibly mass produce themselves, wait until someone who can not only do that but make whatever better, say they did it first and BAM! Cash settlement and they burry their "originial idea" forever. Maybe I should patent something we know will be around in the future lol!

jmdude
jmdude

what's with these man and all others that are like him?!!!!!!

bubnux
bubnux

He better not get a dime from Nintendo. What is the world coming to when any crappy artist can draw a crude image of a shemale on a napkin using some form of computer he will never be able to afford to build and sue anyone?