Nintendo victorious in Wii Balance Board patent suit

US court dismisses patent litigation concerning Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, and Wii Fit Plus; Nintendo says, "We refuse to succumb to patent trolls."

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Nintendo's legal team has notched another victory today, as the company claimed victory in a United States patent suit related to the Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, and Wii Fit Plus.

The Wii Balance Board is in the clear.

A Maryland US District Court judge has dismissed a patent infringement suit against the company brought by IA Labs in April 2010. Had the case proceeded further, it would have headed to a jury trial.

The suit claimed that the Wii Balance Board peripheral, as well as Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus, had infringed on US Patent No. 7,121,982. This patent was issued in 2006 for "Computer Interactive Isometric Exercise System and Method for Operatively Interconnecting the Exercise System to a Computer System for use as a Peripheral."

"We vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party's patent. We refuse to succumb to patent trolls," said Rick Flamm, Nintendo of America senior vice president of legal and general counsel.

IA Labs' 2010 patent suit also claimed that Nintendo infringed on US Patent No. 7,331,226. This patent was issued on February 19, 2008, for "Force Measurement System for an Isometric Exercise Device."

Concerning that case, a Nintendo representative told GameSpot, "IA Labs was no longer asserting the '226 patent against Nintendo. The Court's summary judgment ruling applied to the only patent remaining in the case."

IA Labs sought to have the court prevent the sale of all products that infringe on its products, as well as damages, attorney fees, and other court costs.

Discussion

44 comments
lirahmcgreen023
lirahmcgreen023

In the United States, a patent application must be filed with the Patent & Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov) no later than one year after a description of the invention is published or publicly disclosed or the invention is first put on sale or made available for commercial use. In general, disclosure under a signed confidentiality agreement is not deemed to be "public disclosure." 

 

Provisional Patents

http://www.cohnpatents.com/provisional-patents/

minivirus2
minivirus2

@Mr. Bodywave Their grounds for initiating a lawsuit were pretty weak to begin with. The way in which the patent was described above makes it sound as though they were trying to patent a general idea more so than an actual idea. By their definition of what the patent stands for, no one can create a peripheral for the purpose of exercising. That's pretty dodgey if you ask me. Had they actually come forward with something to the tune of "We own this patent, we created this device for them to use, they rejected us and stole our idea," that would make more sense.

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

I find it amazing how many people are supporting Nintendo copying their idea and getting away with it. This isn't a patent troll as much as a patent infringer getting away with it.

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

Just goes to show you kids. Steal ideas all you want as long as you have more money to fight, you will win.

cr8ive
cr8ive

This isn't the Trazer lawsuit right? I wanted to know the outcome of that patent suit.. couldn't even find the GS news bit on it anymore

hella_epic
hella_epic

Patent Trolls........the most dangerous kind of trolls........HIDE YO KIDS,HIDE YO WIFE CUZ THEY TROLLING ERRBODY OUT THERE!!!!

Promised_Trini
Promised_Trini

I remember when this started.Glad Nintendo won cause when something starts making money.Someone has to Sue and claim it as breaking some Patent Law.

Jaxith
Jaxith

I love that this Rick Flamm person used the term, 'patent trolls'. Awesome, and absolutely appropriate. That's exactly what people like this are.

d-rtyboy
d-rtyboy

It's pretty pathetic when the only way a company can garner revenue from its patents is to sue people.

hystavito
hystavito

Most companies do this to each other, certainly hope someone remembers this when Nintendo is on the other side of the argument, if they haven't been already.

toyo75
toyo75

Here's hoping that the next in the firing line are the copyright trolls in youtube. "Video blocked in your country" message is quite annoying.

moviequest14
moviequest14

''Patent Trolls'' hehe...good job Flamm! :P It is sad that spewing out random ideas you never intend to fulfill,patenting them,and suing is actually a career choice now-a-days.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

:) wow this is a great day!! Good for Nintendo. Someone comes up with a idea and they get to patent any new idea related to their patent !?!? I can not wait till these crazy days are over.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

I remember that day....that fateful day on December 18th, 2004.....the patent trolls....they came outta the trees man....ate my family....stole my pants....beat up Melvin down the block...all for the reason that my innovative microwave/massage chair infringed on 18764 patents....thank you Nintendo for destroying my greatest nemisis...

Eternal_Phoenix
Eternal_Phoenix

I completely forgot this piece of crap existed! do games actually use it??

Flint247
Flint247

Lesson of the day: Do not play around with Nintendo.

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

Nintendo has an excellent legal team, so this comes as no surprise.

IamTheBesteva
IamTheBesteva

"We refuse to succumb to patent trolls" lol nice

anticusho1984
anticusho1984

motion controllers have been around for more than 20 years, there could be similar butsome companies greed is unbelievable, nintendo did a better job using motion controllers than anybody in the market

soulless4now
soulless4now

Patent troll is now the word of the month.

daabulls23
daabulls23

Did Nintendo just say "patent trolls?" Cause that's awesome.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Patent #34f23fskgblahblah infringes because it's an isometricblahblah device... Really? Why did the judge make this decision? That's great and all nintendo won... I guess... but it's hard to care about something like this when the only detail is a random number and a bunch of double-speak-named devices, for which we have no understanding of. Most of the time I love the articles on Gamespot, about 90% I would say. The other 10% like this one, I am really dissapointed at the lack of content, and (it seems) effort put towards this. I am not trying to attack anyone, This is just my opinion.

blue-peregrine
blue-peregrine

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

kvan33
kvan33

In related news, I just filed my patent for the flying car. I can't wait to sue the pants off of whoever invents it.

Coonfoot
Coonfoot

Wait... They won a patent dispute this time? And GameSpot made a positive Nintendo article? And Nintendo used the term "trolls?" Best day ever!

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

"We refuse to succumb to patent trolls" - Ooooh Daaaamn

Takeno456
Takeno456

Gotta keep on loving the King. Go Nintendo!

Encephlon
Encephlon

Very professional to use the term "trolls". Nintendo ftw.

DivineMeliadoul
DivineMeliadoul

All of this patent infringement business is starting to get on my nerves, especially when it's for a vague idea that the company clearly has on intention of developing.

Link3301
Link3301

Nintendo used the word troll. So much win.

iiIsSueZ
iiIsSueZ

Patent No. 7,121,982. Jeeeeez. How many patents are there in the US?!

Raxyman
Raxyman

Nintendo isn't exactly clear of these prosecution trolls accusations... Nevertheless. F YEAH, think twice before sueing blindly idiots. Shove IMPULSE back in your... Drawing board.

leeko_link
leeko_link

I knew Nintendo will never give in to patent trolls.