Nintendo faces ban on some Wii, GameCube controllers

Game maker fails to get $21 million patent infringement verdict overturned.

Unless Nintendo complies with a federal judge's order by Thursday, the company will be faced with a ban on several of its controllers, Bloomberg reports.

Nintendo GameCube controller
Though the Wii Remote is safe, Nintendo faces a possible ban on the sale of controllers, like this one for GameCube. Nintendo

A judge for the U.S. Court in the Eastern District of Texas failed to overturn a verdict entered against the Japanese video game maker on July 18. The company had been previously ordered to pay $21 million to Anascape, a Texas company that holds a patent on motion-sensitive controllers.

After declining to order a new trial as Nintendo had requested, Judge Ron Clark instead is scheduled to issue a ban on the sale of the Wii Classic Controller, WaveBird controller, and GameCube controller. (Anascape said that Nintendo's Wii Remote and Wii Nunchuk controllers also infringe on U.S. Patent No. 6,906,700, which describes a "3D controller with vibration," but a jury disagreed.)

Nintendo will have to post a bond or put royalties in an escrow account to avoid the halt, according to Anascape's attorney, but Nintendo said it was already planning on filing an appeal, which should effectively put the ban on hold.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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