Is the 'Wiimote' a patent violator?

LA electronics company sues Nintendo, claiming that it holds patent to remote-control tech used in Wii controller.

Nintendo of America has been sued by Interlink Electronics over alleged patent infringement in its Wii console's remote control.

Interlink, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in remote controls and electronic-signature technology, filed suit in a federal district court in Delaware on December 4, claiming that Nintendo's Wii Remote violates its "Trigger Operated Electronic Device" patent (U.S. patent No. 6,850, 221). Interlink claimed that Nintendo's sale of the device, nicknamed the Wiimote, has caused the company to lose profits and royalties.

Nintendo's Wii console, which was November 17, has gained both and notoriety for the Wii Remote. The contoller enables players to with the game--swinging it like a bat in a baseball game or holding it like a gun in a shooting game, for example.

Until this point, much of the Wiimote controversy has revolved around its tendency to smash into things. But now that a lawsuit has been filed, problems for Nintendo may escalate far beyond the level of YouTube-documented mishaps.

Neither company was immediately available for comment.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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