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Nintendo Switch targeted by Gamevice patent lawsuit (again)

Wikipad manufacturer attempting to block console sales in the US over detachable controller dispute

Nintendo is facing another lawsuit from mobile accessories manufacturer Gamevice, which claims the platform holder infringes on its patents with the Switch.

Gamevice's arguments centres around patents for detachable controllers seemingly similar to the Switch's Joy-Con controllers, although there are some significant differences.

For example, Gamevice's controllers are designed to attach to a variety of tablets, whereas the Joy-Cons are specifically built for Nintendo Switch. The Joy-Cons are able to operate independently, whereas Gamevice products must be attached to a smart device.

Additionally, Nintendo's controllers feature a range of extra technology such as the HD rumble and an IR sensor that may be enough to differentiate them from Gamevice's devices.

Nonetheless, the mobile peripherals firm is attempting to ban Nintendo from importing the Switch into the United States.

The company attempted this last year with a similar lawsuit centred around not only its detachable controllers but also the Wikipad gaming device. Engadget reports this lawsuit was dismissed in October.

This time the company has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, alleging that Nintendo is violating section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act, according to the USITC statement.

The USITC stresses that while it has begun an investigation, it "has not made any decision on the merits of the case". The organisation will assign the case to an administrative law judge and is aiming for a completion date for the investigation within the next 45 days.

Given that the previous lawsuit was dismissed, it's unclear how strong a case Gamevice has but a successful complaint could lead to the Nintendo Switch being banned in the US, one of the world's key games markets.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was