December 11, 2006 9:44 AM PST
Is the 'Wiimote' a patent violator?
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Nintendo cautions gamers on Wii remote safetyDecember 7, 2006
Interlink, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in remote controls and electronic-signature technology, filed suit in a federal district court in Delaware on December 4, claiming that Nintendo's Wii Remote violates its "Trigger Operated Electronic Device" patent (U.S. patent No. 6,850, 221). Interlink claimed that Nintendo's sale of the device, nicknamed the Wiimote, has caused the company to lose profits and royalties.
Nintendo's Wii console, which was released with much fanfare November 17, has gained both positive buzz and notoriety for the Wii Remote. The contoller enables players to physically interact with the game--swinging it like a bat in a baseball game or holding it like a gun in a shooting game, for example.
Until this point, much of the Wiimote controversy has revolved around its tendency to smash into things. But now that a lawsuit has been filed, problems for Nintendo may escalate far beyond the level of YouTube-documented mishaps.
Neither company was immediately available for comment.
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