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Philips alleges Nintendo patent infringement

Files suit in the US, demands Wii consoles and peripherals be removed from sale

The electronics manufacturer Philips has filed a patent suit against NIntendo over its Wii consoles and peripheral controllers.

According to a document filed in the United States District Court of Delaware, Philips has two patents relating to "interactive virtual modelling" and "human computer interaction" that have been infringed by Nintendo's console products ever since the launch of the Wii.

The first patent - referred to as "patent 379" - was issued to Philips in September 2001. It relates to a "Virtual Body Controlling Device," and Philips chas claimed that it informed Nintendo of its existence in a letter sent in November, 2011. The full patent can be found here.

The second patent - referred to as "patent 231" - is more ambiguous, as it was only filed by Philips in September 2013, well after the Wii had fallen from public favour and comfortably after the launch of the Wii U. It relates to a, "User Interface System Based on Pointing Device," and it can be found here.

Philips' claims seem to relate principally to the Wii Remote Controller, and specifically Wii MotionPlus. However, the suit argues that these devices are so essential to the experience offered by the consoles that they should not be considered as separate.

The devices named in the suit are as follows: "Wii console, Wii Remote Plus Controller, Wii Remote Controller, Wii Nunchuk Controller, Wii MotionPlus, Wii Balance Board, Wii U console, Wii U GamePad, and Wii Mini console."

Phillips is seeking damages, and has asked the court to halt sales of all the named devices in the United States. We have approached Nintendo for comment.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.