Nintendo acquires "troll's" patent portfolio after legal victory

As a result of legal victory against IA Labs in Wii Fit case, Mario maker obtains entire IA Labs patent portfolio.


Nintendo has acquired the entire patent porfolio of now-defunct technology company IA Labs following its victory in court, the Japanese gaming giant announced this week. Nintendo obtained the "troll's" patents during a sheriff's sale in Montgomery County, Maryland on Tuesday.

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IA Labs originally sued Nintendo for patent infringement in 2010, claiming the Mario maker's Wii controller and Wii Fit technology infringed on two separate IA Labs patents. Nintendo successfully defended itself as part of a court battle in 2012, also winning various fees related to the case.

IA Labs appealed the ruling, but an appellate court sided with Nintendo in June 2013. At this point, IA Labs was ordered to pay Nintendo additional fees, and when the company failed to do so, a sheriff's sale was commenced.

"Nintendo's track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the IA Labs lawsuit, when we believe we have not infringed another party's patent. This includes holding those who sue Nintendo responsible for the costs and expenses incurred in patent litigation," Nintendo of America vice president and deputy general counsel Richard Medway said in a statement. "Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others."

Nintendo has not won every court battle it's been involved with, however. Last year, Nintendo lost a high-profile 3DS patent lawsuit from longtime Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita. As part of this decision, a federal jury awarded Tomita $30.2 million in damages, though this would later be cut in half to $15.1 million. What's more, a U.S. District judge ruled in December that Nintendo must pay Tomita a royalty rate of 1.82 percent for every 3DS sold, which will amount to no small sum.

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