Judge dismisses lawsuit against console makers over design of low-voltage joystick ports.
A little more than two years ago, Fenner Investment filed suit against Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, claiming that the three companies' consoles violated a patent it held on a "Low-Voltage Joystick Port Interface." Fenner voluntarily dropped Sony from the suit less than two months later, but the court case against Nintendo and Microsoft dragged on until this week.
Yesterday, a US District Court judge granted Microsoft's and Nintendo's motions to dismiss the suit without a jury trial, saying a correct interpretation of the patent's claims supports the console makers' arguments. It's not entirely clear what those arguments are, as the motions in which they were made are sealed from the public.
"We are very pleased with the court's decision," a Nintendo representative said in a statement. "Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We also vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party's patent, despite the risks that this policy entails."
The description of the patent, #6,297,751, says it was originally developed by Lucent Technologies in 1998, the same year the original Dual Shock was released in the US for use with the original PlayStation.
Patent Law has become a joke...its purpose has long since become irrelevant with all the frivolous claims. Least this was a step in the right direction.
Actually, low-voltage joystick port interface...better sue some of those companies from 1890s as well, because this kind of interface has been around for over a century. Everything from the old mechanical joysticks used from the 1890s to the joysticks in an airplane for fighter plane, or the controls to certain types of automobiles, to the Brown Box by Ralph Baer, the Father of Video Games. Even the 2600 used low-voltage joystick port interface, and for Lucent to patent it in 1998 is stupid, as Lucent went belly-up for not actually making anything, and then for some moronic company called Fenner to come out after almost a decade and sue is just as stupid. They were hoping for easy money, and not too soon, as patents only last 14 years.
1357900, you sure don't think things through, do you? If these things were not patentable, why in the world would anyone spend time and money researching and developing new items? For example, look at what has happened in the construction industry. Due to the fact that construction methods are not patentable, almost no research goes into finding new methods of construction. What you are proposing would actually hamper creativity and new inventions.
I'm still curious if any(MS, Sony, Nintendo) did indeed infringe, & just got off, possibly due to bribes, big money, pay-offs, buying off the judge, etc. Part of me wants to believe against this, however, I wouldn't be surprised either way. Anyhow, certain things shouldn't be patent-able. Of course, I'm talking more in terms of necessity items, but also for recreational items, such as this particular case.
Shadowalker: The Dual Shock was released before Lucent Technologies did anything with it, which is probably why Sony got dropped. Sony would win since they came out with it first.
I'm betting that Fenner Investment did not even want it to go to trial, they just wanted Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to pay them to keep it out of court, which i'm guessing is what Sony did to get there name "Dropped" from the suit. At which point Nintendo and MS decided to play and take it all the way.
Even though I didn't know this was going on, I'm glad they won. Also all three used the Chewbacca Defense.
Of course they were victorious. Big money FTW! Really though I'd like to see the actual patent to see what they were trying to sue for. For all we know, they were just trying to squeeze money out of the gaming companies and it could all be frivilous.
The only reason suits like these come up is the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 are making tons of money and every company wants a piece of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's successes
@Mr_Tweedy: I agree. It's like waiting until the last few minutes of the super bowl and then deciding who you want to bet on.
It's good seeing Microsoft and Nintendo winning their patent disputes. The Phoenix Wright screenshot also makes me want capcom to make another game in the series.
If they wanted to sue, they should have sued in 1998. It's unreasonable to let it slide for 10 years (to wait until the technology is ubiquitous) and then sue.
How pathetic. If you want to **** with someone, don't make it Nintendo or Microsoft. There's simply no way your going to win against companies that big.
like I tell people, you want easy money, patent something stupid and then sue a huge company. It's just as bad as the guy who designed on a napkin a portable system for people to gamble on airplanes and then sued nintendo because his patent had a touch screen. It had nothing to do with video gaming, but still, i guess that's not the point.
sendmn23, its a business and like every business, they will sometimes do things how they want to get what they want. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are no diff. Never assume that b/c a business is large and popular that they dont cut corners to get what they want. Not saying these companies did anything wrong this time, but never think that it doesnt happen at all.
wow........ *shakes head slowly* The lengths people are willing to go to make some easy money. I'm pretty sure Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony develop thier own tech when it comes thier products..... I don't think they would intentionaly infringe on someones patent just so they could end up in court for years..... This stuff always seems nasty to me.
If more than one was victorious, how can anyone start endless internet arguments about which system deserves it more? But really that's good news. I received stock in Lucent until like 2002, they were not exactly a workhorse company, so this doesn't surprise me.
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