U.K. Court: Wii Guilty of Patent Infringement Against Philips

BlameTheWizards

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U.K. Court: Wii Guilty of Patent Infringement Against Philips



The international electronics company claims it already holds a patent on technology used to recognize hand gestures and motion.

United Kingdom judge Colin Briss ruled today that Nintendo's Wii is actually infringing on two patents held by Dutch electronics company Philips for technologies related to recognizing hand gestures and motion. Nintendo is already seeking to appeal the decision and has said it believes the Philips patents are invalid, according to website Bloomberg. Stated Birss in his decision:


"The common general knowledge did not include a device combining a physical motion sensor with a camera and the reasons advanced by Nintendo for putting those two sensors together in one unit are unconvincing."


Philips also filed a third patent infringement claim against Nintendo, relating to modeling a body in a virtual environment. Judge Birss ruled that the House of N was not in violation of that patent.

An order on damages will be issued by Birss next month. Bloomberg notes that Philips is pursuing cases against Nintendo in other countries, including the U.S., where a lawsuit was filed last month, and Germany and France. Nintendo issued its own statement on the ruling, as reported by Bloomberg:


"Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others," the company said. "Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business."


It should be stated that this is far from the first Nintendo has had to deal with patent disputes. This past September, the International Trade Commission ruled that the Wii's controller <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/127783-Nintendo-Wins-Another-Wii-Patent-Dispute>did not violate a "magic wand" patent held by theme park operator Creative Kingdoms. Given that Philips is an international electronics company, though, this might be a bit more of a protracted fight for Nintendo.


Source: <a href=http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-20/nintendo-s-wii-infringed-philips-patents-u-k-court-says.html>Bloomberg

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PunkRex

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I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.
 

lacktheknack

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Philips, I liked you and respected you. I bought a bunch of your things! I went to a school that was full of more of your things! I liked your reliability and solid products! I trusted you! Philips... why are you doing this to me? D:
 

SuperSuperSuperGuy

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Looks like someone's still sour about the CD-i.

To be perfectly honest, patent issues like this seem really mean-spirited to me. Nintendo's already in a bit of a hole; I hope this doesn't put them in any further, 'cuz I love Nintendo and I want to see them do well.
 

youji itami

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PunkRex said:
I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.
You do know that Philips actually invents things rather than just buying off the shelf like Nintendo does right? Patent rolls are company's that do NOT invent or make thinks Philips does both and this court case has been going on for years.
 

Callate

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Has Philips actually released a product that in any way resembles the Wiimote, or are they just squatting on the relevant (?) patent?
 

flarty

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Callate said:
Has Philips actually released a product that in any way resembles the Wiimote, or are they just squatting on the relevant (?) patent?
I don't know, but its likely that the technology has been used to some degree in one of the thousands of products they manufacture or license.
 

Pyrian

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flarty said:
...but its likely that the technology has been used to some degree in one of the thousands of products they manufacture or license.
If so, then why has nobody ever heard of such a thing?
 

RandV80

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youji itami said:
PunkRex said:
I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.
You do know that Philips actually invents things rather than just buying off the shelf like Nintendo does right? Patent rolls are company's that do NOT invent or make thinks Philips does both and this court case has been going on for years.
Patent trolls are what they are, but it doesn't mean big legitimate companies can't play the same game. Patent trolls were more the early adopters, and now pretty much everyone does it.

The problem lies entirely with the patent system itself, but hey we wouldn't want all our lawyers going hungry or anything.
 

J Tyran

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Callate said:
Has Philips actually released a product that in any way resembles the Wiimote, or are they just squatting on the relevant (?) patent?
They did at one point, not sure if they ever got to market or sold in huge numbers even they did but they had TVs back in the day with a Wiimote style controller with an IR sensor etc that moved a mouse pointer on screen to control teletext and other functions and the CDi had something like that as well. They where even demonstrating the idea again recently where it had more functions with a smart TV, thats what this lawsuit is about in all likelihood.

Phillips wants to bring that back and then if they can firmly establish they own the patents for those type of controller already other companies might have to pay licencing fees to use it, which is one of Phillips main tactics. They make huge amounts of money licencing bits and pieces out. Easy and intuitive methods of control is one of the biggest problems with Smart TVs at the moment, if someone could make something thats precise, fast and intuitive as a Wiimote they would be in a strong position to earn revenue from every other TV that uses it through licence fees.
 

flarty

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Pyrian said:
flarty said:
...but its likely that the technology has been used to some degree in one of the thousands of products they manufacture or license.
If so, then why has nobody ever heard of such a thing?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWF3aIOPa9g

Apparently Philips warned them in 2011 regarding this patent. Would seem they just been waiting to have something to show for it before pursuing.

As for people saying why don't they sue Sony or Microsoft, well its very possible they are paying Philips royalties for this patent, and if that is the case then it puts Nintendo in a harder position to defend.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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lacktheknack said:
Philips, I liked you and respected you. I bought a bunch of your things! I went to a school that was full of more of your things! I liked your reliability and solid products! I trusted you! Philips... why are you doing this to me? D:
Blood in the water I think... They waited quite a while to spring this.
 

PunkRex

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youji itami said:
PunkRex said:
I freaking hate patent bullshizz like this, as unimpressive as the Wii was for me, I hope Philips loses and has to pick up the tab.
You do know that Philips actually invents things rather than just buying off the shelf like Nintendo does right? Patent rolls are company's that do NOT invent or make thinks Philips does both and this court case has been going on for years.
Well obviously I didn't.

Seriously though, I can't see Nintendo straight up ripping off the tech considering just how popular they are, surely Philips would have been able to tell sooner. I'm just used to hearing about bullshit patents made by money grubbers, BUT, if Philips have indeed been ripped off then I retract my previous out blurb.
 

Scrythe

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lacktheknack said:
Philips, I liked you and respected you. I bought a bunch of your things! I went to a school that was full of more of your things! I liked your reliability and solid products! I trusted you! Philips... why are you doing this to me? D:
You mean to tell me that you haven't lost your faith in Philips [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philips_CD-i] before this?
 

Frozengale

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What would this even mean though?

Nintendo is a Japanese Company that functions under Japanese Law.

Philips is a Company that is headquartered in the Netherlands.

And this whole thing is going on in the UK?

I mean I can't imagine that a UK Court could force a Japanese Company to fork over money to a Dutch Company. So what would it just mean that Wii Systems and possibly Wii U Systems would no longer be able to be sold in the UK?

This whole thing seems stupid anyway. Are you seriously telling me that a UK Judge is saying, "Okay yeah you guys have Carte Blanche on any and all Infrared Sensors used to move things on a screen. No one else gets them." How does any tech ever get invented over in the UK with Judges like this.
 

ExtraDebit

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When are people gonna wake up and start protesting about how fucked up the patent system is? Can you imagine if the wheel was patented? How about hamburgers or hotdogs or icecream?

The patent system is only there to protect lazy rent seekers and deter innovations.
 

Meximagician

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"Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others"
You don't say? I wonder what Seijiro Tomita has to say about that.

Not that I think Philips will win this case per se, just thought that quote needed a bit more context...
 

FPLOON

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Uh... Phillips? I know someone out there probably has mentioned this to you... but, Microsoft is not Nintendo... The Kinect is not the Wii... Someone must have switched the "who to try to sue due to [a specific] patent" papers with the "who to question this time about [specific] patents" papers, I'm guessing...
 

FalloutJack

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RatherDull said:
That seems more like a Kinect thing than a Wii thing. Not a fan of Nintendo right now but this doesn't apply to the Wii.
I'm in agreement. Since it was already tried as a 'wand' and clearly its uses are as a tool extended from hand, not 'hanf gestures', it would seem like the precident has already been made and these guys dunno what they're saying.