Remember that one time that company called ThinkOptics tried to sue Nintendo over the Wii? Well, that’s still happening, but the idea seems to be picking up steam. Yet another company has decided to sue Nintendo over the Wii: UltimatePointer.
The patent in question is titled “Easily Deployable Interactive Direct-Pointing System and Presentation Control System and Calibration Method Therefor” (7,746,321), which covers “controlling movement of a computer display cursor based on a point-of-aim of a pointing device within an interaction region includes projecting an image of a computer display to create the interaction region.” It’s worth noting that UltimatePointer’s product, the Upoint Laser, hasn’t made it out of testing yet and is not currently on the market.
Complicated mouthful aside, UltimatePointer claims that Nintendo knew its products were infringing this patent before the patent was ever officially issued, on June 29, 2010. UltimatePointer also took a couple cues from ThinkOptics, and filed their complaint with the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas (which tends to favor the right-holder). Other respondents named in the suit include JJ Games, Best Buy, Game Stop, RadioShack, Sam’s, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Sears, Dell, and many others, reports GamaSutra.
Here’s an excerpt from the complaint (full version embedded below):
Prior to the filing of this action, Nintendo America was expressly and specifically notified of the issuance and existence of the ’321 patent, and that its unauthorized manufacturing, sales and importation of the accused products was was an infringement of the ’321 patent.
Nintendo America refused to cease its infringement after notice of the ’494 publication and notice of the ’321 patent. Instead, Nintendo America continued and still continues to deliberately infringe the ’321 patent. Nintendo America’s infringement of the ’321 patent was and is willful and in bad faith, entitling UltimatePointer to increased damages [...] and to reasonable attorney’s fees.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Eastern District Court — infamous for siding with the patent holder — deals with patent infringement claims from a company who has yet to release their product. Keep in mind, just because the patent was issued in 2010 doesn’t mean that the Upoint Laser (UltimatePointer’s product) was dreamed up and built at that time.
The patent was applied for back in 2005, meaning UltimatePointer has had plenty of time to bring this thing to market. Instead, the company continues “testing,” while simultaneously suing companies who (may or may not) make use of a patent that UltimatePointer has done nothing with.