Judge tosses Nintendo Wii patent suit

U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles strikes down allegations that the Wii could play DVD movies.

Since the launch of the Wii, Nintendo has been the subject of no fewer than 15 patent-related lawsuits. While many of those suits are still winding their way through the courts, Nintendo on Thursday issued a statement touting victory over Guardian Media Technologies in one of the more recent patent suits.

U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles struck down allegations that the Wii could play DVD movies.

"We are very pleased with the court's decision," Rick Flamm, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of legal, said in a statement. "Nintendo vigorously defends patent lawsuits. At the earliest stages of this case, Nintendo convinced the court to dismiss this case as Guardian's patent had nothing to do with Nintendo's products."

Flamm is correct about the suit having nothing to do with Nintendo's products. The Wii maker was one of dozens of defendants in the suit, which alleged violations of Guardian's patent for parental-control technology in TV programs and DVD video playback. While the Wii does include parental control functions, it does not feature DVD video playback. Nintendo's early dismissal from the case comes a scant six months after the suit was first filed.

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Texas dismissed a patent suit against Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. That suit was brought by Fenner Investments and centered on a patent the firm holds for a "low-voltage joystick port interface." It was originally filed in January 2007.

In still another patent case, a judge in 2008 failed to overturn a verdict ordering Nintendo to pay $21 million to Anascape, a Texas company that holds a patent on motion-sensitive controllers.

Brendan Sinclair reported for GameSpot.

 

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