Philips aims remote control patents at Nintendo's Wii, wants to hit 'stop' button

Philips is seeking a ban on US imports and sales of Nintendo products such as the Wii and Wii U consoles, alleging they infringe its patents

Philips wants to ban U.S. imports and sales of Nintendo's Wii gaming consoles and controllers, alleging they infringe two of its patents.

The Dutch company sued Nintendo in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Wednesday, alleging that it infringes on patents that cover an interactive remote control system, according to the complaint.

The Wii, Wii U and Wii Mini consoles are among the alleged infringing Nintendo products, as well as several controllers such as the Wii Remote Controller, the Wii Balance Board and the Wii Nunchuk Controller.

One of the patents said to be infringed describes a virtual body control device that models a user's body in a virtual environment and lets an animated version of the body follow physical movements of the user.

The other patent describes a user interface system based on a pointing device that lets users give commands to another device by moving it in a particular way.

Nintendo sold products with such technology in the U.S. without any authority or license from Philips, the company said.

Philips said it informed Nintendo of its alleged infringement of the first patent at the end of 2011, adding that Nintendo has been selling products without taking a license on the technology since then.

Nintendo was also accused of having induced its users to infringe the second patent by providing its users with detailed instructions of how to use game controllers with the consoles in an infringing manner.

In both cases Nintendo's infringement "has been deliberate and willful," Philips said. The company requested a jury trial and is looking for damages. It also asked the court to ban the import and sales of Nintendo's products in the U.S.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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Loek Essers

IDG News Service
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