from the another-patent-suit dept
Just how many patents can cover a single piece of technology? I think we are looking to break a record with the Wii Remote.
Today’s entry come to us via Gamasutra, which was alerted to the news that UltimatePointer is suing Nintendo and various retail outlets — including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Gamestop and more — for violating their patent, number 7,746,321, for an “Easily Deployable Interactive Direct-Pointing System and Presentation Control System and Calibration Method Therefor” (what a mouthful). Much like ThinkOptic’s patents, this one was filed in the same year Nintendo revealed the Wii to the world. Not only that, it was filed the very same month. Not implying anything, just pointing out some facts.
According to the court filing (pdf and embedded below), which was done in East Texas, of course, Nintendo is guilty of manufacturing a technology that was designed and finalized prior to the filing of UltimatePointer’s patent. Which of course would mean that Nintendo and all those retailers are willfully infringing on this patent. So now, according to UltimatePointer, Nintendo owes them treble damages and licensing fees.
There is a major difference between this patent and the patents filed by ThinkOptic: the Wavit is actually available for purchase. UltimatePointer’s product, the Upoint, is still under “testing”, so many years later. Why bother building an actual product if you can just score a patent and sue those who really understand the technology? Once again, we are left to ponder the process that allows a company to be sued for independently developing similar technology to another prior to it being patented. This really does not breed confidence in the technology market.