Nintendo has been ordered to pay $10 million to medical device company over Wii controller tech.
The Nintendo Wii always seemed like it just should have been better to me. The motion sensing controllers were just so good, and seemingly ahead of their time, but while I did in fact purchase and own the Wii, it never held my interest past a few games of Super Mario Kart.
A medical device company by the name of iLife doesn’t think that the Wii controllers were all that original. In fact, they believe that the technology within the controllers infringed on one of their patents. iLife took Nintendo to court in 2013, seeking $144 million, or a $4 royalty on every Wii console sold by Nintendo in the six years prior to the court action.
Nintendo claims that the iLife patent was not specific enough, and does not cover the technology utilized in the Wii’s motion controllers.
The court’s did not agree with Nintendo, and have ordered the video game company to pay iLife a much smaller sum of $10 million.
Nintendo states that “Nintendo disagrees with the decision, as Nintendo does not infringe iLife’s patent and the patent is invalid,” and will be appealing the decision.
Motion control is something we’ve all grown accustomed to as each of our smartphones have the necessary accelerometers to enable us to use our devices as motion controllers in various games and apps. The question is, does iLife believe that they hold the patent on all accelerometer motion controlled devices? Or is there something specific to how Nintendo utilized their technology that actually infringed on an aspect which was unique to iLife. For now, iLife has been ruled the victor, but I am interested to see how the appeals process plays out, and if we shall see iLife begin to sue more tech companies in the future.