A High Court Judge in the UK has recently ruled that Nintendo’s Wii motion controls infringe upon a patent owned by Philips. The ruling comes after a 2 year long legal battle, one in which Nintendo has denied any patent infringement. While Philips has filed multiple lawsuits against the company in Germany, France, and the US, the UK lawsuit is the first to be acted upon.
If you’re unaware of the legal struggle, Philips is claiming that Nintendo has ingrained upon multiple patents when designing the motion controls for both the Wii and the Wii U. The patent is described as a “method and apparatus for controlling the movement of a virtual body,” as well as a “user interface system based on a pointing device.” That’s pretty much the definition of Nintendo’s now-famous Wii motion controls.
“Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others,” the company said in a statement released to the press.
“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 it unsure what legal penalties Nintendo will face, but we do know that Philips will be looking for financial compensation. “We’ve requested fair compensation for the use of our patents,” admitted Bjorn Teuwsen, a Philips spokesperson. In an interview with Reuters, he admitted that the two companies have been trying to come to an agreement over licensing since 2011. Unable to reach a conclusion, Philips took the battle a step further by filling legal proceedings.
Nintendo hasn’t had much else to say on the subject, but they have admitted that the battle isn’t over. Nintendo plans to appeal the High Court’s decision, making a case that Phillip’s patents for recognizing gestures and motions is untenable.