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Nintendo snaps up 'patent troll's' patents after court win

Nintendo snaps up 'patent troll's' patents after court win

January 9, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

January 9, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC

Nintendo purchased the entire patent portfolio of former legal opponent IA Labs during a sheriff's sale in Maryland on Tuesday.

The sale took place after the now-defunct IA Labs failed to pay court-mandated reparations for the costs Nintendo incurred while defending itself against IA Labs in three years of patent litigation.

You may remember IA Labs (also known as Powergrid Fitness) for its work suing Nintendo back in 2010, when it claimed that technology built into the Wii and its assorted accessories infringed on two separate IA Labs patents.

Nintendo defended itself with vigor, publicly asserting that it refused to succumb to patent trolls and successfully defending itself against the lawsuit in 2012. The court compelled IA Labs to pay Nintendo a portion of the costs and fees it racked up defending itself; IA Labs appealed, and then the appeals court sided with Nintendo in 2013, ordering IA Labs to pay Nintendo even more as recompense for the additional legal fees. By that point IA Labs could not afford to pay what it owed, so Nintendo obtained the company's entire patent portfolio as partial repayment for its trouble.

“Nintendo’s track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the IA Labs lawsuit, when we believe we have not infringed another party’s patent," stated Nintendo of America vice president and deputy general counsel Richard Medway in a press release announcing the sale. "This includes holding those who sue Nintendo responsible for the costs and expenses incurred in patent litigation."

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