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Nintendo, Third Party Devs Face Exercise Game Patent Lawsuit

Nintendo, Third Party Devs Face Exercise Game Patent Lawsuit

November 22, 2011 | By Kyle Orland




Ohio-based Impulse Technology has brought a lawsuit against Nintendo and a number of third-party Wii game developers, accusing them of violating a 1996 patent on motion control technology.

The complaint [PDF, thanks Patent Examiner] cites Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Konami, Majesco, and Namco Bandai for violating Impulse's patent on an "interactive system for measuring physiological exertion."

That patent describes a system that measures movement using sensors attached to users' limbs, with data sent wirelessly to a monitor that shows an "interactively controlled" video sequence.

Impulse currently manufactures and markets the Trazer InterActive Fitness Machine, which uses a waist-mounted beacon to let a user control the position of an on-screen avatar in simple sports-themed games.

The suit alleges that games including Wii Fit Plus, Grand Slam Tennis, Zumba Fitness 2, Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 and UFC Personal Trainer infringe on the patent when used in conjunction with a Wii, Remote and/or Balance Board.

Earlier this year, Impulse brought a similar lawsuit against Microsoft and multiple Kinect game developers, citing additional patents it holds on movement tracking systems.

Nintendo has previously prevailed in multiple patent lawsuits regarding the novelty and utility of the Wii Remote.


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