Wii™ Will Rock You? Patent Infringement Game Over or Just Starting?

Start-up company, Hillcrest Labs, has filed a patent infringement action in the U.S. District Court in Maryland and a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), against Nintendo. Hillcrest claims “two separate but related technologies and products are at issue.” The first relates to “graphics-based, interactive interfaces for multimedia content.” The second relates to “three-dimensional pointing devices used to interface with multimedia content…” which “differ from conventional two-dimensional pointing device, such as a typical ‘mouse’ moved along a desktop to interface with a personal computer. The three-dimensional pointing device allows users to interface with content by translating or rotating the pointing device in space, rather than detecting movement relative to a flat surface.”


The actions allege the relevant Hillcrest patents are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,158,118, 7,262,760, and 7,414,611, (related to a hand-held 3-D pointing device), and U.S. Patent No. 7,139,983, (related to a navigation interface display system which graphically organizes content for display on a TV).


Hillcrest Labs states that it holds 29 patents in this area worldwide, has filled for more than 100 related patents since 2001, and has pioneered technology that allows consumers to interact with digital media on television using motion-control and pointing techniques. The actions are primarily related to the Nintendo® Wii video game system, which Hillcrest claims Nintendo of Japan is infringing on their patents and are being manufactured by a third party outside of the United States and imported through Nintendo of America.


You can read a copy of some of the filings online.


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Posted in Intellectual property, patent infringement

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