Back in 2012, Philips presented a patent infringement case against Nintendo. They stated that Nintendo infringed upon three of their patents. While Nintendo did not lose in the case of modeling bodies in a virtual environment, UK High Court Judge Colin Birss stated that the Wii and Wii U’s motion based hand gestures did indeed infringe on Philip’s patents.
Nintendo infringed on the patent for a “user interface system based on pointing device”, according to Birss.
Birss stated in his decision:
“The common general knowledge did not include a device combining a physical motion sensor with a camera and the reasons advanced by Nintendo for putting those two sensors together in one unit are unconvincing,”
Philips is even trying to cease production of Wii U consoles in the US and other regions altogether, though I highly doubt that will happen.
“Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business,” said Nintendo.
While I do not believe this case will have a major impact on Nintendo’s production of games, they have already started to cut movements of Wii U units for the second quarter of the fiscal year. They’ve been operating at a loss from the previous fiscal year and it’s really unfortunate because Nintendo has finally begun to get people excited again since E3. Now it looks like they have another obstacle in their way.