Nintendo to Pay $10 Million for Patent Infringement

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Last week, a small company based in Texas won its patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo of America. The jury awarded iLife Technologies $10 million in damages when it decided that Nintendo’s Wii controllers infringe on iLife’s six patents on motion-sensing technology.

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iLife filed the federal patent lawsuit against Nintendo in 2013, asking for $144 million. The suit stated that Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U controllers use accelerometers to track how a player is moving their hands relative to their environment, which is a system iLife says it invented and patented for use in medical monitors that would automatically call an ambulance if an elderly person fell or if a baby was at risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome.

Nintendo, in a statement during the court proceeding, said the patent was not written correctly to cover the way the company used motion-sensing technology in its controllers. In a statement to the BBC, the company said it would appeal the judgment.

“Nintendo disagrees with the decision, as Nintendo does not infringe iLife’s patent and the patent is invalid,” Nintendo said in a statement. “Nintendo looks forward to raising those issues with the district court and with the court of appeals.”

iLife’s lawsuit sought a $4 royalty on each Wii console sold in the six years before iLife launched legal action, totaling 36 million units. iLife also sued Fitbit and Under Armour in similar lawsuits, both of which were dismissed and settled out of court, according to court filings.

Back in 2013, an attorney for iLife’s CEO Michael Lehrman denounced claims that Lehrman was a “patent troll.”

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“iLife and its CEO Michael Lehrman are the original inventors of this technology, and the company does not enforce any patents that it did not develop,” Wallace Dunwoody, an attorney and partner at Munck Wilson Mandala, told the Dallas Observer. “Unlike so-called patent trolls, iLife also has a history of developing and bringing to market products using their technology.”



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