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Nintendo Loses $21 Million Controller Patent Case

Nintendo Loses $21 Million Controller Patent Case

May 15, 2008 | By David Jenkins

Nintendo of America has lost a court patent battle with East Texas company Anascape and has been ordered to pay $21 million by a federal jury.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2006 against both Nintendo and Microsoft, for twelve different game hardware and controller related patents. Although broadly defined, most centered around the use of force feedback and analogue sensor technology within games controllers.

Microsoft settled with the company on May 1st, but details of the arrangement have not been made public. No explanation has ever been made for why Sony was not named in the case, given that the technology described in the patents is common to all three console manufacturers.

Although the jury found that Nintendo had infringed Anascapes patents, this applied to the GameCube and WaveBird controllers and the Wii Classic Controller only - and not the Wii Remote or nunchuck.

Nintendo spokesman Charlie Scibetta has indicated that Nintendo will appeal the decision and expects the court to significantly reduce the penalty, according to an Associated Press report.

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