Nintendo has had a long history of defending itself vigorously against lawsuits, and it seems that this tradition will continue. Nintendo has successfully defended itself against its third copyright infringement lawsuit this year. In this case, the plaintiff was IA Labs. IA Labs claimed that the Wii Balance Board infringed upon their existing copyright. The claim was dismissed by a Maryland U.S. District Court. For those interested, here is the abstract for the patent.
“A computer interactive isometric exercise system includes an effector, a sensor coupled at a selected location on the effector to measure a force applied by a user to the effector, where the applied force effects a strain on the effector, and control circuitry. The control circuitry includes a processor that receives and processes data corresponding to applied force information measured by the sensor for transference to a host computer. The processed data is transferred in a format compatible with the host computer and facilitates user interaction with the host computer in response to effector manipulation by the user. A plurality of effectors may further be combined together to form a system frame that provides a variety of isometric exercises for the user in combination with user interaction with the host computer.”
Interestingly, the patent includes a picture of the proposed device. The picture included in the patent looks closer to a rowing machine than the Balance Board. You could check out the full patent right here.
Nintendo’s statement on the case is pretty blunt. Rick Flamm, Nintendo’s Senior Vice President of Legal and General Counsel said, “Nintendo has a passionate tradition of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We vigorously defend the intellectual property rights of others. We vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party’s patent. We refuse to succumb to patent trolls.”
Interesting to see the term troll crossing into the mainstream like that.