Nintendo Wins Balance Board Appeal

Nintendo and the Wii are no strangers to patent infringement lawsuits… it seems like there’s a new one popping up every month or so, but some of these cases are a little more high profile than others. One case in particular that the gaming world has been keeping an eye on is the claim from IA Labs, which tried to prove that the Wii Fit’s Balance Board, among other Wii accessories, infringed on their rowing machine-style equipment (ie. the pressure points as sensors).

In July 2012, the case was thrown out of court without a jury, prompting the now-famous comment from Nintendo of America’s Senior VP of Legal & General Council, Rick Flamm: “We refuse to succumb to patent trolls.”

But as we all know, trolls can be resilient, and IA Labs took the decision to Appeals. And finally, the case has been brought to a close a year later, with this press release that confirms the appeal’s failure (and IA Labs’ requirement to pay upward of $236,000 in legal fees):

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld Nintendo’s victory in a patent-infringement case brought against Nintendo by IA Labs CA, LLC. The Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that Nintendo did not infringe IA Labs’ patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,121,982), and it upheld the lower court’s ruling that IA Labs must pay Nintendo more than $236,000 in attorneys’ fees.

“We are very pleased with the court’s decision,” said Richard Medway, Nintendo of America’s deputy general counsel. “Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We also vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the IA Labs lawsuit, when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party’s patent.”

It’s good news for Nintendo, especially considering this year’s upcoming release of Wii Fit U!


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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