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Nintendo Sued over Wiimote Trigger 229

Posted by Zonk
from the wiimote-to-the-head-ed-grubberman dept.
kaizokunami writes "A company named Interlink Electronics, Inc., creator of interface devices has filed a suit in US District court against Nintendo of America, claiming the Nintendo the trigger on the bottom of the Wii controller infringes on their patent. The article includes images submitted with the patent application." From the article: "The complaint alleges that the trigger on the bottom of the Wii controller infringes on Interlink Patent No. 6,850,221 (Trigger Operated Electronic Device), which the company secured on February 1, 2005. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata first presented the Wii controller to the public not too long after that date, during the 2005 Tokyo Game Show."
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Nintendo Sued over Wiimote Trigger

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  • Um, prior art? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:46PM (#17167446) Journal
    I have a remote for a LCD projector that's a good 3 years old that looks almost exactly the same. I'd imagine there are plenty more examples out there. My guess is Interlink is simply banking on the damage they can do before their patent is invalidated.
    • by thebdj (768618) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:51PM (#17167540) Journal
      Too bad this has priority to Sep. 5, 1995. Patents are fun aren't they? The issue date really means shit; look at the filing date and then check for a priority. In this case, we need to go back 11 yrs.
    • Re:Um, prior art? (Score:4, Informative)

      by blincoln (592401) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:08PM (#17167810) Homepage Journal
      It looks like any number of Star Trek hand phasers to me. There were plenty of those designs from the 60s onward, with this one looking (IMO) most like the ones in III.

      I also think it fails the non-obvious test pretty dramatically. Handheld clicky remotes are at least as old as slide projectors. The only difference is that this one has a button on the bottom as well. How is that not obvious? Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if some of those old slide projector controllers had buttons on the bottom too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Brunellus (875635)

        IANAL (yet) but I'm not aware of any case where fictional descriptions of an object were used as prior art to invalidate a patent under 35 U.S.C. 102 or 103. If someone could produce a proper citation, I'd be *very* interested to read about it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Headcase88 (828620)
          Well, it would be a good rule. IRRC patents were originally designed to encourage innovation. If an idea is already thought of in fiction and the original creators didn't patent it, well, the invention has been made and the inventors passed on their chance to profit.

          So obviously not realistic, but when you get down to it and consider the purpose of patents, it would be a good rule IMO.
        • by technos (73414)
          IANAL (yet) but I'm not aware of any case where fictional descriptions of an object were used as prior art to invalidate a patent under 35 U.S.C. 102 or 103. If someone could produce a proper citation, I'd be *very* interested to read about it.

          Existing patents can already be a case for invalidation. Couple that with the fact most patents are already strictly fiction in that they describe something that doesn't work, has never and will never be built, or when implemented doesn't exactly follow the intention
        • The classic piece of prior art as taught to UK examiners (it might be UKPO folk-lore!) is that a doggy doorbell, IIRC, was deemed to lack Novelty due to a citation of the Beano (a long running UK comic featuring Dennis-the-Menace and his dog Gnasher as the figurehead characters).

          See http://www.innovation.rca.ac.uk/PD/sw/IP/st_rights 6_patent.html [rca.ac.uk] for tentative corroboration.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Mike Buddha (10734)
        It looks like any number of Star Trek hand phasers to me.

        I hate to be the one to have to tell you this. I never like being the bearer of bad news. Star Trek isn't real, dude.
    • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:27PM (#17168056) Homepage Journal
      I remember using military weapons technology between 1982 and 1989 that had similar triggers.

      Sounds like someone trying to make a fast buck.
  • Prior Art (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:46PM (#17167450)
    • That was the first thing that came to mind to me as well. Glad to see that multiple people came to the same conclusion. I also fail to see how the trigger is any different than those on the bottom of the N64 controller [wikipedia.org]. The whole concept of a "trigger" for a controller can probably be seen on plenty of arcade games as well and it's a obvious thought to take the idea of a gun to a controller given the number of FPS games.
    • Until we know what specific part of the patent is being 'infringed' on, you cannot declare anything as prior art. For all we know, it could be a patent for using ground up orphan meat as a conductor. In that case, the NES Light Zapper wouldn't be prior art since Wikipedia didn't say anything about using orphan meat.

      Note: I am in no way saying they have a case or a good patent, just pointing out that simply calling up a list of devices that use triggers and calling them 'prior art' is a big waste of time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Just so we're clear on this, you did just imply that the wii controller is made out of ground up orphans, right?

        I feel like we may have just discovered a new corollary to Godwin's law.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          "I feel like we may have just discovered a new corollary to Godwin's law."

          Hehehe. Nah. I've worked on patent applications before and it has given me a different perspective on cases of prior art than most Slashdotters have. Patent applications are meant for something specific, not broad. You couldn't patent using a database for everything in the world, but you can at least attempt to patent using a database in an MP3 player because it's specific enough to say "MP3 player". RCA had a patent on drawing a
  • Obvious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GeckoX (259575) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:46PM (#17167452)
    It's a trigger on the bottom of a controller.

    If that's not obvious, what is?

    I don't care how you use it, where you put it, whatever. Once a button, always a button.

    • As long as they dont start putting buttons ON TOP of other button, I think well all be safe
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well, Xbox (and Sony I think) already have analog sticks on top of buttons, so I don't see how buttons on top of buttons would be much worse.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by 7macaw (933316)
          Buttons on sticks and sticks on buttons are fine with me. But buttons on buttons is abomination!
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          And the Gamecube had a button on a button. Since the should buttons were analog, some games had a function where if you push the shoulder buttons in a little, then they did one action, and if you pushed them in the whole way, so they clicked, they did a second action.
    • by Phisbut (761268)
      Or just put the Wiimote upside-down... now the trigger is on the top of the remote and the suit is moot...
  • ummm (Score:3, Funny)

    by snuf23 (182335) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:47PM (#17167468)
    I'm thinking finding prior art on a trigger shouldn't be too hard.
  • Can you say N64? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ravenshrike (808508)
    The only real difference is the shape of the controller, I get the feeling this is going to be thrown off the deep end
  • by iamhassi (659463) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:48PM (#17167484) Journal
    One's a controller for a game system, the other is a mouse for power point presentations. Since they're not really related at all does it still infringed?
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      wonder if they're suing these guys too [pcstats.com]? At least that device actually is infringing.
    • Well, actually the Wiimote can be used at a wireless mouse. Search the web, several people have made drivers for it already and the Wiimote uses standard Bluetooth communications. BTW while I'm positive the Wiimote designers in no way were influenced by this patent, it is very similar to the wiimote in Several ways, and as patent law goes nowadays, these people stand a high chance of winning.
      • I hope when (if) it goes to court Nintendo just brings in examples of the Zapper, Super Scope, N64 controller. Having a trigger button on a Nintendo console controller is just brain-dead obvious, because all the previous ones except the Gamecube had one too!

    • Actually, the wiimote can be used as a mouse for power point presentations [slashdot.org] too!

    • by thebdj (768618)
      you are reading the specification way too much. Everything a patent is exists in the claims. The claims do a very nice job of avoiding making it sound like the system is overtly PC based. It refers to an "electrically responsive system", which is a nice broad term to cover a variety of systems. Remember, patent lawyers get paid a lot more than we do, and they are the masters of broad terminology, while avoiding the vagueness that will get a patent tossed.
    • as someone who has presented in a large scale, allow me to say that getting the wiimote to work in powerpoint (especially if you can use it as a pointer on the streed) would be sweet especially being about the same price as others, and being bluetooth, and comfortable, and solid.

      in fact, thats a really good idea. too bad youd need a sensor bar to really make it work. maybe the portable sensor bar project really is going to come in handy...
      • Hint: look through yesterday's Slashdot game section stories (or at another of my posts in this thread).

      • by DaveJay (133437)
        Eh, if this catches on, laptops will have two infrared LEDs mounted in the upper left and right corner of the lid, so that when open it acts as a sensor bar. Easy to do a clip-on attachment, as well.
  • it's obviously bogus so really the question is will nintendo settle or take the chance of losing the case in a trial? i'm going with settle. it's what i would do and write it off as a cost of doing business.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by archen (447353)
      There seem to be a lot of innovations in the Wii. If they just pay them off, then I'm sure they're opening the flood gates from lawsuits from all directions. Especially for the trivial stuff that is rather obvious, like this appears to be. I'm willing to bet that motion based interfaces is actually a patent minefield no one has ever forged across before.
      • eh, they settled on the rumble. you could be right. if i was a betting man i'd set up a pool on this. geek gambling at its best because what actually happens will have (i predict) zero impact on my life other than popping up as another slashdot story or two later. it does provide something to wager on but that's about it.
        • by Hes Nikke (237581)
          eh, they settled on the rumble

          no they didn't. the Nintendo rumble implimentation doesn't violate the patent that MicroSony violated. :)
  • by Thansal (999464) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:49PM (#17167498)
    The device patented looks frighteningly like the WiiMote. It is an infrared device that is set up similar to the WiiMote (if it can be ussed as a pointing device, I dono). I am not sure why they specificly say that the trigger is what infringes

    FTFA:
    The drawings (above) that accompanied the patent application--first filed on September 17, 1997--do look suspiciously similar to the Wii trigger, but in the filing, Interlink offers scant detail of exactly how Nintendo currently infringes on the '221 patent, stating only that "Nintendo has made, used, offered for sale and sold in the United States, and continues to make, use, offer for sale and sell in the United States one or more controllers which activities infringe, induce others to infringe, and/or contributorily infringe the '221 patent."


    Do I think that Nintendo riped these people off? No
    Do I think that they are patent Trolls? Probably.
    • The Nintendo 64 controller had a trigger on the bottom and was released in 1996.
    • by thebdj (768618)
      Do I think that they are patent Trolls? Probably.

      From my quick research, they really are not Trolls, using the regular definition. They did not sit on a patent for years and pop up with it blindly. They actually do sell products on their website, and have been signing licensing agreements for their patents with large electronics companies since the 1990s. These are not the typical moves of a patent troll. NTP is a patent troll. They had an invention, which they could not sell. RIM makes a product t
      • by Thansal (999464)
        True, they are not a patent holding group of rabid lawyers. Just some tools that are trying to enforce a patent on something we all like, and thus must be trolls! (note me poking fun at my self here, I still think, from what I have seen, they dont' have a leg to stand on)

        However I am starting to be curious my self (after looking on their website)

        features Interlink's patented ClickTrigger design.

        From here [interlinkelectronics.com]

        mabey they actualy are suing over the friken trigger. TFA makes it sound like they (Gamespot) don't kn

  • Is one going to put the trigger under the remote? Nintendo came up with the idea for the Wii Remote well before the patent was granted. The previous GC controller had a trigger type button used often in shooters. How could they combine that? I wonder...

    This is why I hope the Sumpreme OCurt rules against such obvious patents.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *
      there are three other ways, and i hold patents on them all. i'd tell you about them but then i'd have to sue you.
    • the N64 controller had a Z-trigger as well. When was that released again?
    • [And how else] Is one going to put the trigger under the remote?

      And how else is one going to reduce a commercial transaction to one click?
      • [And how else] Is one going to put the trigger under the remote?

        Put a trigger on the top of the device, then turn it upside-down?
  • "The complaint seeks a jury trial and damages to determine the amount of "loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a result of the infringing activities."

    Hmm. "reduced sales and/or lost profit", eh? Their patented device is for use with a PC during slideshow presentations. I don't see how the hell a videogame console controller would ever have any impact on that at all. Well, unless Nintendo licenses out *shudder* Powerpoint to run on the Wii.

    Then again, with the Wiimote PC drivers
    • by sqlrob (173498)
      I've seen mention of people using candles instead of the sensor bar, and christmas tree lights throwing off the alignment, so it's not hard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by thebdj (768618)
      Hmm. "reduced sales and/or lost profit", eh? Their patented device is for use with a PC during slideshow presentations. I don't see how the hell a videogame console controller would ever have any impact on that at all. Well, unless Nintendo licenses out *shudder* Powerpoint to run on the Wii.

      The lost profit easily comes from the loss of royalty fees. Also, note that there has been software written for Mac that allows control using the Wii remote. So they could actually attempt to use this against Ninte
  • ...if I forget any. Note that I am only going to stick to the big-named systems:

    (Nearly) every flightstick ever made
    NES Zapper
    N64
    Dreamcast
    Xbox
    Xbox 360
    Wii

    Any particular reason why the Wii is the only one getting a suit against it? Oh, because they filed a patent in 2005...maybe Nintendo should file a COUNTER-suit against THEM!!! /sarcasm
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thebdj (768618)
      Um, the patent was filed in 1997 with priority to 1995. Therefore you can erase, Wii, Xbox360, Xbox, Dreamcast, and N64, as established in prior postings.

      Now, the NES zapper might be close, but I have to more closely read the claims then my cursory glance. The same for your flightsticks. I will admit there has to be some very close art for it to take almost 10 yrs to get these claims patented.
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        I direct you to your nearest arcade (if you can find one that is) and look for any one of hundreds of games....hell, even Gorf had a trigger!
    • No, it's because the Wii controller also looks like a remote -- what this company is actually upset about is how similarly shaped the two things are. The patent is on the trigger, though, so that's listed as the reason for the lawsuit.

      Personally, I think that if the patent had been on the shape of the device instead, this company would have a better case (not that such a patent wouldn't be asinine too, of couse...).

  • The Nintendo 64 controller.
  • Impossible to ask (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZDRuX (1010435) *
    How can one possibly be sure that you're not violating anybody's copyright when creating something so complicated as a console system? With thousands of different copyrights protecting hundreds of different idea's, how do you as a company protect yourself from litigation? Assuming Nintendo did not willfully violate the copyright, is there anything they could have done to prevent this, apart from going throught thousands of patents trying to see if what they're doing falls under any one of them?

    I think the
    • by Throtex (708974)
      First off, patents protect ideas. Copyrights protect expressions of ideas. It's important to use the right label -- I know it's not the easiest thing to keep straight, but it really does matter.

      That said, the issue here is patents. What you described in points 1 and 2 is, by the way, pretty much what filing a lawsuit does. The problem here is that you are assuming the validity of the patent. Few people go into court blindly, and those that do are destined for failure. Usually when a complaint is filed
    • I was wondering if Interlink had contacted Nintendo before the public sale of Wiis. Otherwise, it would seem like they waited for actual production and sale so a lawsuit would generate the highest amount of damage. Granted some patent infringements aren't discovered until later, but with as much media attention Wii has gotten, it seems unlikely.
  • My write-up of this (Score:5, Informative)

    by Throtex (708974) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:11PM (#17167860)
    I did a write-up for the Kotaku crowd, but I figure this might help some Slashdotters understand how to read the patent and better determine what's going on here:

    http://jointstrikeweasel.blogspot.com/2006/12/how- to-quick-and-dirty-patent-analysis.html [blogspot.com]

    I hope this helps. Analyzing patents is much more fun when you understand how to do it. ;)
  • Wow... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:12PM (#17167882) Journal
    That company's lawyers sure were trigger happy.

    *cough* :-p
  • Not Infringing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Starji (578920) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:19PM (#17167960)
    I don't really have a desire to read through the entire patent to see if this is the case, and IANAL, so I don't know this for sure, but I'm not certain that Nintendo is actually infringing on that patent. According to the Abstract, the patent specifies that the device transmits data via infrared to a receiver mounted somewhere. The Wiimote doesn't do that. It communicates button presses to the Wii through Bluetooth, and uses the sensor bar to transmit IR data to the Wiimote so it can determine it's own position in space.

    Maybe someone with a little better understanding of patent law, and/or has time to read the patent can enlighten me?
  • Okay... (Score:5, Informative)

    by thebdj (768618) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:21PM (#17167976) Journal
    I am tired of posting replies, so I will simply make one big huge post so hopefully everyone will read it.

    1. N64 is not prior art. Nor is anything else not seen until after Sep. 5, 1995. This patent was filed in 1997 as a continuation of another application filed on the date I provided. If you want prior art, please pre-date 1995. (Note: N64 was first shown in Nov. 1995.)
    2. The use of this device as a "mouse" is irrelevant. The patent claims are broad enough they can be construed to cover a gaming console. I have to given them some credit for that claim wording, it made me shake my head.
    3. No matter how many people "came up" with the idea, it does not matter. The patent definition of obviousness is not the human definition. It might seem obvious to place a button in such a location, but did anyone file a patent or design such an item before them? If not, then was it really that obvious for someone to do it?
    4. They really are not trolls. They have been making these products and making amicable licensing agreements with other companies. I still think this patent might be bogus, but I would not know without doing a full patent search.

    So to recap, prior art must be before 1995, read the claims and ignore most everything else, and they are not really trolls, but this patent is probably pretty weak, especially if you consider it took almost 10 yrs to issue and there are a good number of reference arts provided.
    • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Informative)

      by yagisencho (930201) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:36PM (#17168158)
      In that case... Zaxxon (SEGA, 1982) Pointing device (4-point flight stick) with trigger-shaped button on underside of the device.
    • Well, I didn't read the article, but why wouldn't the SNES sholder buttons be considered Prior art?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phisbut (761268)

      3. No matter how many people "came up" with the idea, it does not matter. The patent definition of obviousness is not the human definition. It might seem obvious to place a button in such a location, but did anyone file a patent or design such an item before them? If not, then was it really that obvious for someone to do it?

      Sometimes, you can come up with an idea (putting a button under a device instead of over it) that is so obvious that you don't consider it worthy of your time to apply for a patent. Pu

    • by vitaflo (20507)
      Magnavox Odyssey, circa 1972. First light gun, or a "Trigger Operated Electronic Device" as they want to call it. I assume that's early enough for ya.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      3. No matter how many people "came up" with the idea, it does not matter. The patent definition of obviousness is not the human definition. It might seem obvious to place a button in such a location, but did anyone file a patent or design such an item before them? If not, then was it really that obvious for someone to do it?

      It sounds like you're saying the patent office definition of "obvious" is "there exists prior art in the form of a patent or design". I'm no patent lawyer, but I know that isn't true.

      My
    • Fuck, why don't we just ban the research and development of new things? Why bother with these patent games when it's obvious that the overral goal is to completely prevent anyone from doing anything new?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Manchot (847225)
      It doesn't need prior art. The patent clearly states that "there is an infra-red output signal transmitted to a receiver for operating the computer." The Wiimote doesn't send its data via IR: it sends it via radio.
    • by 2nd Post! (213333)
      The original Nintendo/Famicom Lightgun/Zapper was released in 1985. It, of course, was in development prior to release in 1985. It seems to satisfy the obvious component, and since Nintendo developed it, it seems logical that they would have something similar in 2006 with the Wii.
    • Re:Okay... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LordKronos (470910) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:44PM (#17170650) Homepage
      Dang it...I hate coming up with info late into a thread. I hope somebody ends up seeing this.

      If you want prior art, please pre-date 1995.

      OK, here you go. Patent 5724106 (issued to Gateway 2000). This may not be as early of an example as the all the other things people post, but so far I have to believe it is the most relevant, because

      1) It has a patent with an original filing date that predates the one in question (continuation of a patent filed Jul. 17, 1995)

      2) It is literally a remote control with a trigger

      http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5724106.html [freepatentsonline.com]

      Also, check out the images on the
      USPTO website [uspto.gov] (or get them off that site...you can log in with bug-me-not or create a free account)
  • by Xest (935314) * on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:37PM (#17168174)
    No wait, hear me out, I'm not just being pedantic - didn't Sony recently lose a court case to have the PS3 classed as a computer? Surely if the courts draw a distinction between consoles and computers then they would also do so in the case of the patent such that the patent describes a device designed for a computer and not one designed for a console?

    Of course IANAL but would this kind of argument stick in court?
  • patent triviality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Friday December 08, 2006 @07:13PM (#17168598) Homepage Journal
    Once upon a time, patents were awarded for breakthrough inventions. You know, the stuff that really changed the way the game was played. The original patent system was designed for a small number of those, maybe a couple a year. On that scale, prior art and researching claims by comparing them other other patents works, and at that small number you can expect experts in a field to know the few relevant patents that exist.

    But that's been perverted long since, and today you can get a patent for things as ground moving, earth shaking and future creating as the placement of a button on an input device. I'll let the other posters discuss obviousness, I'll just stand here in the corner and shake my head that such trivial nonsense is supported by an artificial exclusive monopoly system. It certainly took years of research to come up with this revolutionary idea, and thousands upon thousands of tries to get the details right, so a patent is surely adequate.

    My suggestion for patent system reform: If it obviously took longer to write the patent application than to invent the thing in question, reject and have the applicant pay a fine for the wasted time of the patent office.

    • by zoftie (195518)
      Criteria like that are hard to quantify, just don't let those who don't use patents, enforce them. If you haven't used it, and it is clear someone infringed on your patents, doing things their own way from scratch then tough luck.
      2c
    • When I think of patent, I think of things such as algorithms that solve a common problem and order of magnitude faster, a revolutionary new input device (no, not putting buttons on the bottom of the friggin controller), and things of that nature. All of these petty patent claims make a mockery of the entire system. Its situations like this that just scream patent reform. It all just goes in line with the new American business model: find ways to sue a major innovative company for millions.
  • http://www.vintagecomputing.com/index.php/archives /188 [vintagecomputing.com]

    No, it's not wireless, which may be the plaintiff's whole spin, but still...

    And in case your wondering, I actually owned one of these and it was as hideous as it looks.
    • by nuzak (959558)
      It's a design patent. Now tell me those triggers have even a remotely similar design, mmkay?

      Otherwise I've got a trigger operated remote control device that works nicely on people (it's an OFF switch). It's not even electrical.
  • by E-Sabbath (42104) on Friday December 08, 2006 @07:34PM (#17168842)
    http://www.vintagetvsets.com/flash.htm [vintagetvsets.com]
    This is the Zenith Flash-Matic, from 1955. It's a very early remote control... and the first appearance of the mute button. It was designed to 'shoot out' the sound from commercials.
    http://www.deadmedia.org/notes/49/497.html [deadmedia.org]

    Think this qualifies?
  • Die die die. Idiots.
  • From the article: "loss of reasonable royalties, reduced sales and/or lost profits as a result of the infringing activities."

    Why wouldn't Interlink say something sooner to Nintendo. It's not like the Wii controller was kept a secret until release. If Interlink really feels that they are suffering from reduced sales or loss of profits due to Nintendo selling an infringing controller, why wouldn't they mention it when the controller style was first announced and seek license revenue then rather than wait unti
  • by Quila (201335) on Friday December 08, 2006 @08:34PM (#17169454)
    Time to start suing everyone!
  • by mprasad (1037646) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @07:27AM (#17172818)

    NINTENDO, HERE'S SOME IDEAS:

    I'm not a patent attorney, but I do have some experience with patents. A notable, and key element of the patent is that "a LED device for emitting an infra-red output signal for transmission to the receiver for operating the computer", However, as I understand it, the Wiimote communicates via bluetooth and uses the IR purely for reference, but NOT for communication with the Wii.

    Further the patent seems to imply that the pointing controls and mouse movement are controlled by buttons, not actual physical movement, and that the trigger mechanism is purely used for selecting or clicking. This is another key difference. The only true similarity seems to be the physical trigger button, which is also present on many other devices, such as the Xbox and Playstation controllers, and various other gaming peripherals (Remember the Super Scope?).

    Since the patent was issued to a device containing a trigger element, and its not a patent ON ALL trigger elements. Lastly, this is a utility patent under class 345/158 (Including orientation sensor e.g., infrared, ultrasonic, remotely controlled) & 345/157 (Cursor mark position control device).

    "A utility patent applies to the way something is made, how a device operates, or a process for accomplishing some utilitarian purpose."

    An strong argument can be made that the patent and mechanisms describe NO REASONABLE PROCESS OR OPERATION for accomplishing the functions defined in its patent class. It does NOT provide a means to control a cursor mark position. And Nintendo's Wiimote does in a wholly different manner, using gyros and other methods.

    These may be key differences that could be used to circumvent (and possibly invalidate) the patent. There's no reason to settle or pay up to something that has no real claim. Especially when the patent in question was never intended to operate in the manner that the Wiimote does.

    So yeah, That's my 15 minute analysis. Feel free to counter/deconstruct.

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