Nintendo announced today that as of January 7, 2014 it obtained the entire patent portfolio of IA Labs during a sheriff's sale in Montgomery County, Maryland. IA Labs had previously sued Nintendo for patent infringement in April 2010, but Nintendo successfully defended the lawsuit and obtained judgment in its favor in February 2012. IA had alleged that Nintendo was violating patent US7121982 B2, granted back in 2006, by creating games like Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus
While the trial court awarded Nintendo some of the costs and fees it incurred defending the case, Nintendo said in a statement today that IA Labs failed to pay the amount due, "so a sheriff's sale was conducted to sell IA Labs' remaining assets, including its patent portfolio. Nintendo obtained IA Labs' entire patent portfolio at that sale as partial repayment for litigation costs."
"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," commented Richard Medway, Nintendo of America's vice president and deputy general counsel. "This includes holding those who sue Nintendo responsible for the costs and expenses incurred in patent litigation. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others."