Nintendo Loses U.K. Patent Battle With Philips

by Mike Futter on Jun 20, 2014 at 06:33 AM

A U.K. judge has ruled in favor of Philips against Nintendo in the case of two instances of patent infringement. The patents in question deal with recognition of hand gestures and motion as input mechanisms and are related to the Wii.

Nintendo says it will appeal the decision and that it will work to ensure that its ability to sell the Wii U and related peripherals are unimpeded. Damages will be assessed and ordered next month.

Philips is currently pursuing claims against Nintendo the United States, also. That suit was filed in mid-May and alleges violation of a patent for technology that “models a user’s body in a virtual environment by animating a virtual body to follow the physical movements of the user.”

In that suit, Philips seeks a moratorium on Wii U sales in the United States. The company also seeks damages from Nintendo totaling three times their value.

[Source: AP via Eurogamer]


Our Take
Nintendo says it will appeal, but this could be significant enough motivation to strike a deal with Philips out of court. That would likely encompass not only the two patents in question in the U.K., but also the current suit in the United States. Nintendo is a frequent target on patent matters (and wins far more than it loses), but this is a blow to the company when it needs to be focused on shipping and selling Wii U consoles.