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Microsoft sued over Kinect for patent infringement

An Ohio company accuses the software giant and several game makers of violating its patents related to tracking and assessing movement in multidimensional space.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene

A Bay Village, Ohio, company has sued Microsoft for allegedly infringing on its patents with the rapidly selling Kinect motion-sensing video game controller.

Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 CNET

Impulse Technology filed the suit in federal court in Delaware, accusing Microsoft and several game makers--including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and THQ--of violating patents related to, among other things, tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space. The suit was filed on July 1, but was only recently written about by the Web site Law360.

Impulse claims that the Kinect violates seven patents, issued from 2001 to last year. In its suit, the company said it notified Microsoft in March about the patents. The suit does not mention if Microsoft replied to the notification. And Impulse's attorney did not return a call.

Microsoft declined to address the specific charges, but said it works hard to make sure its products don't violate patent holders' rights.

"While we can't comment about this specific case, Microsoft invests heavily in protecting our intellectual property rights and has hundreds of pending and issued patents covering Kinect," Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs at Microsoft, said in a statement.