Nintendo Wins Wii Patent Lawsuit

By Chris Faylor, Mar 17, 2009 2:24pm PDT The United States District Court has dismissed a lawsuit against Nintendo, in which Fenner Investments claimed that the Wii and GameCube maker infringed on one of its patents through the use of controller ports in those consoles.

The judge for the case said that a jury trial was not necessary. The suit, filed in 2007, also named Xbox manufacturer Microsoft and PlayStation maker Sony. However, Fenner later dropped its charges against Sony.

"We are very pleased with the court's decision," said Nintendo of America general counsel VP Rick Flamm. "Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others."

A summary of Fenner's patent follows below:

The joystick port interface includes an integrated circuit receiving an analog joystick position measurement signal and outputting a digital pulse signal to a processor which signifies a joystick coordinate value. The integrated circuit includes a pulse generator and a bidirectional buffer circuit. The bidirectional buffer circuit receives the analog joystick position measurement signal and selectively discharges an RC network capacitor which provides this analog measurement. This implementation provides a joystick port which uses low-voltage CMOS VLSI structures which can interface a conventional high-voltage joystick with the processor.

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