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Federal court dismisses Wiimote patent infringement suit

Nintendo will "aggressively defend itself against patent trolls"

A federal appeals court has dismissed a patent infringement claim against Nintendo's Wii Remote controller.


The suit was first filed by patent holder Triton Tech in 2010, after which a Seattle district court judge found the patent "did not adequately describe a complete invention" rendering it invalid, according to Nintendo. Triton took the claim to a federal appeals court, which upheld the previous ruling on June 13.

Triton's patent No. 5,181,181 was filed in 1990 for "a mouse which senses six degrees of motion arising from movement of the mouse within three dimensions". It describes several functions which are similar in use to the Wii Remote's motion control.

"We are very pleased with this result," Nintendo of America general counsel Richard Medway said in a prepared statement. "Nintendo has a long tradition of developing unique and innovative products, while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. Nintendo continues to aggressively defend itself against patent trolls. After many years of litigation, the decision today reflects an appropriate resolution of this case."

Electronics company Philips sued Nintendo in May over its patent on a "virtual body control device", which allows users to control interfaces using "intuitive" motions. If successful, the suit would block North American sales of Wii, Wii Remote, Wii U, Wii U GamePad, and Wii Mini.


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