Can't Have An Electronic Trigger On An Input Device; Nintendo Sued Over Patent Infringement

from the not-so-much-fun-for-the-whole-family dept

Patent madness strikes again. As families everywhere (at least those who can get their hands on them) are experiencing Wii-induced soreness from the game consoles unique controller device, recognize that one company believes you’re infringing on their patent. Jason writes in to let us know that Interlink Electronics has sued Nintendo of the patent they hold for a trigger operated electronic device. The article notes how Nintendo’s Wii implementation of a trigger device is quite different than that described in the patent, but no matter, in this age of vague and broad patents it’s pretty standard to stretch the definition to sue whoever actually did the innovation the market wanted. It seems pretty unlikely that this patent was what made Nintendo figure out how to design their controller — but rather in their search for a better product for customers, this was one of many ideas that their engineers and designers came up with. It’s hardly a unique concept to think of a trigger as a mechanism on an input device — and it’s hard to see why it deserves patent protection. If multiple parties are all coming up with the same general concept independently, it certainly seems like it shouldn’t pass the “obviousness” test that we’re supposed to have for patents, and which hopefully, the Supreme Court is about to revise.

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Comments on “Can't Have An Electronic Trigger On An Input Device; Nintendo Sued Over Patent Infringement”

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The Lone Wulf says:

Re: Re: Re: Patent on the mouse button click..

I cannot confirm this, but if I remember correctly, the Wiimote does in fact use an infra-red detector and/or transmitter to use in gameplay. I am not 100% certain as no one seems to have specs available on the Wiimote. Either way, the lawsuit seems to be more for money than anything else. And I am almost ashamed that it is a DE company considering where I live!!!!! Down with poorly written copywrite laws!

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Patent on the mouse button click..

I know this is completely off topic but I had to say this.

Yes the Wiimote uses an IR receiver that detects the two IR signals from the bar above the TV. If the signals go up, down, or even twist relative to the Wiimote is then sent to the Wii over the Blue tooth connection. That’s as far as I figured out so far. I believe the nunchuck and the mote both have motion sensors in them since I can do limited things without line of site to the bar.

Ron (profile) says:


Occurs to me that the firing mechanism on a modern battleship is really not that different from a game console; both electronic rather than mechanical, hooked to computers that display aiming, target, etc. So, is this f*khead patent owner gonna try suing the US Navy as well? Hey, fighter aircraft are similar too. Get the Air Force and Navy for that as well.

Paul OFlaherty (user link) says:

Didn't Sky have this for their settop box?

If I remember correctly we had a switch exactly like that built into the remote control of the set top box for Sky TV back in the 90’s.

The controller functioned both as a remote control for the set top box and as a games controller for playing really crap 2d games.

I’m sure without much effort plenty of prior art could be found on this one.

something like that says:

This is hella weird!

you know that some controlers have input trigger thingys but you know like the nintendo game
“Duck Hunt”
Isnt that a game with a input thing?
And i heard that you can point the wii remote thing at the computer because of the input thing…
And I’ve seen hella games for the PC that uses a laser point gun controler

Anonymous Coward says:

Wii Tech

During my Army days in the mid 80s – SGI showed off a system that they were building with Nintendo. The system used a wireless mouse with a clear antenna sticking out.

We slipped on a pair of 3D goggles and could play catch by throwing the ball (hold button, make throwing motion, and release button) against walls (like a handball court) and the catch the bouncing ball.

You could also use the remote to fly or drive through a 3D city by moving the mouse in front of you.

I had forgotten about the demo until the Wii came out. I suspect that some of the tech may have been used in that old 3D gameboy thing Nintendo put out years ago.

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