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Wii Classic Controller faces sales ban in US

Wed 23 Jul 2008 6:01am GMT / 2:01am EDT / 11:01pm PDT
Hardware

But ban put on hold as Nintendo appeals patent infringement case

A judge has ruled that sales of Nintendo's Wii Classic Controller, WaveBird and GameCube controllers cannot be sold in the US.

However, the ban has been put on hold while Nintendo appeals the verdict in the US Court of Appeals, with Nintendo forced to post a bond or put royalties in an escrow account to avoid the halt in sales, according to Bloomberg.

The judge in Texas has rejected Nintendo's request for a new trial in a USD 21 million lawsuit won by Anascape, over patent infringement for a controller that covers six types of motion at the same time.

The Wii Nunchuck and Wiimote controllers are not affected. Sony licensed the patent from Anascape in 2004, and Microsoft settled a lawsuit in May before a trial with Anascape began.

While waiting for the appeal to conclude, Nintendo is free to continue selling the Wii Classic Controller, and does no longer sell the GameCube and WaveBird controllers in the US.

According to Anascape's lawyer, the company wants to enter the games peripheral market but Nintendo has completely "clogged the channel."

Nintendo is expected to appeal the ban immediately, with the judge due to issue the order later today.

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