Nintendo Fighting $10M Verdict in Wii Patent Case

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Nintendo will be fighting the verdict of a patent infringement lawsuit filed against the Nintendo Wii, as reported by Rolling Stone.

A jury in Dallas, Texas awarded $10 million to iLife Technologies Inc. after they found that Nintendo of America infringed on the company’s motion-sensing accelerometer technology used in the Wii Remote controllers, the publication reports. The technology was used to prevent sudden infant death syndrome and help the elderly watch out for falls. The $144 million patent infringement case was filed by iLife and law firm Munch Wilson Mandala four years ago.

The jury deliberated on the federal lawsuit at the end of yesterday and returned to deliberate this morning. They came back with a verdict at about 11 a.m.

Here’s what Nintendo said in a statement regarding the verdict:

On Aug. 31, 2017, a jury in Texas found that certain Wii and Wii U video game systems and software bundles infringed a patent belonging to iLife Technologies Inc. related to detecting if a person has fallen down. The jury awarded iLife $10 million in damages. Nintendo disagrees with the decision, as Nintendo does not infringe iLife’s patent and the patent is invalid. Nintendo looks forward to raising those issues with the district court and with the court of appeals.

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Munck Wilson Mandala’s Head of Litigation Practice Jamil Alibhai said the following in a statement, as reported by Rolling Stone:

Since 2013, Munck Wilson Mandala has represented iLife. Today’s verdict is the result of our commitment to excellence and an outstanding team effort.

iLife initially sought out a $4 per unit royalty payment tied to 36 million Wii systems sold in the six years before the suit was filed, according to Rolling Stone. However, Nintendo argued that the patent filed by iLife was invalid because the description in the patent wasn’t properly written.

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This is far from the first legal battle Nintendo has been involved with. Back in May, Heavy reported that Nintendo won a six year old patent infringement lawsuit filed by RecogniCorp, LLC, who claimed that the iconic Mii characters used the same techniques described in the patent for making police sketches of suspects.

Nintendo was awarded $9.5 million by a Canadian federal court in March 2017 over a case against a huge seller of mod chips, flash carts, and game copiers used to illegally download Nintendo games.

Probably the most famous lawsuit against Nintendo was in 1982 when Universal Studios accused the company of copyright infringement of King Kong with their game Donkey Kong. Since Universal previously claimed that King Kong was in the public domain in response to the creation of their 1976 remake of RKO Pictures’s 1933 film, the court ruled in Nintendo’s favor and awarded them $1.8 million in damages. Nintendo gifted John Kirby, their attorney, a $30,000 sailboat named Donkey Kong. It is said that Nintendo’s pink puff Kirby was named after him.

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