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Court rules in favour of Nintendo, MS over controller patent breach

Platform holders win appeal battle with Fenner Investments

A Washington court of appeal has ruled in favour of Nintendo and Microsoft following accusations the companies breached a patent relating to controller power conversions.

Patent holder Fenner Investments first sued the two console makers three years ago, reports Gamasutra, claiming that their devices used a design they had patented.

The patent in question is for a 'Low-Voltage Joystick Port Interface' described as an analogue stick which outputs to a digital signal - which is found in the majority of controllers for home consoles.

Nintendo was granted a favourable ruling in March last year, but Fenner appealed the decision and the case was referred back to the court.

That court ruled this week however that there was "no genuine issues of material fact" in the claims, and that "no reasonable jury could find that the accused devices of Microsoft and Nintendo" as infringing on Fenner's patent.

The patent was filed in 1998 and granted in 2001. Fenner obtained it from a company named Lucent (now Alcatel-Lucent), which holds a variety of patents that have been used in lawsuits against games companies.

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