Wii Classic Controller in danger as Nintendo loses patent troll suit

Bloomberg reports this week that Nintendo could be forced to stop selling Wii Classic and GameCube controllers as a result of losing its case to overturn a patent-infringement suit from a company that has not produced one physical product.

District Judge Ron Clark placed a ban on these controllers after the ruling, but it was stayed after Nintendo filed an appeal in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. “Nintendo was already planning to appeal this case to the Federal Circuit court,” said Nintendo spokesman Charlie Scibetta. “The recent ruling by the trial court does not impact that decision.”

The Wii controller nunchuck attachment is safe, as it was deemed to be unrelated to Anascape’s analog stick patent. Anascape, which reportedly consists of one person, has also tangled with Microsoft and Sony in the past over similar technology. Sony licensed the patent in 2004, and Microsoft settled a lawsuit out of court on May 1 before the trial began.

As video games become a force, expect more of this sad, shifty behavior to continue.

19 Responses to Wii Classic Controller in danger as Nintendo loses patent troll suit

  1. Killer says:

    OMFG OMFG! I’m freaking out here!!

  2. neko to kuruma says:

    I hate these companies that make patents and just sit and wait for someone to make something vaguely similar to its description. I doubt Anascape is EVER going to even release a controller that matches their patent. What a bunch of jackasses.

  3. Joltman says:

    GameCube controllers? Are you serious?
    How did the GameCube even get published and stay legal for all those years when it was on the market when from the story above says it was in violation of the patent?
    This is absolute bull.
    Classic Controllers? If this was seriously a violation, then it should have been taken care of prior to the Wii’s release, not afterwards.
    Sounds like a gigantic case of attempted fraud to me, IMO.
    Stupid story.

  4. Lord Toker says:

    what exactly did they patent the analog stick? then shouldn’t it go back to the N64? screw them and the horse they rode in on.

  5. Reynard says:

    This is the pure definition of moneygrubbing, I honestly can’t believe it and it BETTER not fly, I can’t even begin to think how much this would screw gamers and Nintendo alike.

    For god sake, if this really WAS a patent infringement, why the hell didn’t they take it out on the Gamecube… oh that’s right, the GC was a technical failure and wasn’t gonna net enough profit for these c*nts.

    Btw, the construction of the nunchuk analog stick is identical to the classic controller’s isn’t it?

  6. Richter says:

    The U.S. patent system is ridiculously broken. I remember while I was in school, I had a chance to talk to a patent officer. She was one of the most egotistical, ignorant excuses for a person I’d ever met. The biggest problem with the patent office is that they will approve patents on things they don’t understand, things which often should not be granted a patent, and then rely on the courts to sort things out.

  7. Dustin says:

    There is a ton of discussion on this and I don’t think anyone really understands what portion of the controller is was in violation. I’m not saying that I understand it but at some sites people are referring to the shoulder buttons on the classic and GCN controllers. The shoulder buttons are pressure sensitive with an additional “click” for all the way down. As far as I know this is a function that only Nintendo has used.

    Another part of the patent revolves around the analog stick itself being clickable. I don’t think the fact that the stick is analog has anything to do with it because if it did then the nunchuck would fall under the same patent. We also all know that the N64 would be prior art. Instead, the patent revolves around the stick itself being another button. This is completely bogus because the analog sticks on the classic controller are NOT clickable. If you’re familiar with the PS2 controller then you know that both analog sticks are also clickable. Sony has had dealings with this same company about that very feature. I believe it is also why the PS3 controller lacks rumble.

    At any rate I don’t think it is very ethical for a company that holds a patent to wait until the infringing party is rolling in dough before suing. Whether Nintendo really has infringed on some patents is for the courts to decide, but it makes me sick that the GCN after all these years can be pulled into the equation.

  8. TWhite says:

    Analscrape needs to put their analog ‘stick’ patent where it belongs.
    Get a life you worthless asshole.

  9. Joltman says:

    I have already emailed Bloomberg about this very flimsy article.
    I hope to find out some more information about this, and I will pass along any info I find out.

  10. Nick says:

    ok can anyone tell me this y is Anascape going after only Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo (I know it said the first two settled out of court) and not MadCatz, Pelican, or Nyko. They created knock offs of these controllers. They created the PS one knock off controller which is todays ps3 controller but i dont seem them in the lawsuit. Anascape needs to drop the lawsuit and shove up what money they did get up there rear. I am sure Madcatz will be back in full force making controllers for Nintendo consoles if Nintendo can not appeal

  11. Cory says:

    @Nick
    God I hope not, madcatz controllers/accessories are downright horrible and have a lifespan of a week.

  12. Rabbitduck says:

    This kinda has to work out for Nintendo… right?

  13. Joltman says:

    Nyko’s in trouble of themselves with a different lawsuit – they are being sued by Nintendo for patent infringement of Nintendo’s Nunchuk, as well as fraud by marketing it under the name of “Nunchuk”.
    That one was involving wireless connection.

  14. peshue says:

    Nothing is going to get puled from the shelves. Nintendo’s legal team isn’t a bu ch of idiots, there’s nothing for us consumers to worry about here.

  15. reinhold says:

    Why wasn’t the N64 controller in “violation” too? This is a load of BS

  16. dubnobasswithmyheadman says:

    Does this mean we won’t see the re-release of a white gamecube controller (like Japan received recently)? …. 🙁

  17. Dave L says:

    Off topic slightly, but I hate the way the classic controller connects to the Wiimote – it’s a mess of a mish-mash. I’d prefer it if it connected directly to the console with a cable – like the control pads of old, or preferably, connected wirelessly and independently, WaveBird style. It’s also too shiny and slippy. Basically I want a SNES pad! 🙂 Rant over.

  18. gametaku says:

    I do not like the cassic controller. Somehow Nintendo managed to ruin the aestetics of a SNES controller when they added those slightly awkward analog sticks, moved the placement of the face buttons and d-pad, and made the shoulder buttons into slightly weird feeling…triggers?

    I don’t get how they lost this case. They amde the SNES controller and should have tyhe complete rights to that. All they should have had to do was show off an SNES, when it was created, when they patented its’ tech and then show the court a classic controller. There’s no way in the world they should have lost that case, are they cheaping out on lawyers, or did they choose innovative lawyers, the types that don’t practice law?

  19. DannyBoy says:

    Nothing’s getting pulled. If anything this will be settled or, at worst, a judge will order Nintendo to pay a slimmed-down fine. There’s too much that puts up red flags for even our horribly outpaced legal system. Besides, frivolous lawsuits are being heavily scrutinized as it is.

    The plaintiff is going to have to explain exactly why he didn’t notice a massive worldwide release of technology that was similar to the technology he held a patent for around 8 years ago. He is also going to have to answer for previous attempts at the same thing, which I’m sure will stand up as scam flags to a judiciary committee.

    Remember, Nintendo is a big boy (or girl) now, and something like this won’t destroy the company or force them to take any kind of rediculous action. Things like this happen in the big leagues – it just sucks that it does happen, when clearly the patent troll is seemingly getting his way.

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