back to article Sony, Nintendo sued in console controller patent clash

A US company has filed a lawsuits against both Nintendo and Sony, alleging that the controllers that go with the companies’ games consoles trample over its intellectual property rights for console to controller connection. The dispute was filed at the US District Court for Western Pennsylvania late December 2007 by Copper …

COMMENTS

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  1. Chizo Ejindu
    Thumb Down

    Hmmm...

    As far as i was aware, both the Sony and Nintendo controllers use Bluetooth to connect and sync? If thats the case then shouldn't the lawsuit be against whichever group came up with the Bluetooth spec? Or is it suing Sony the new black?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another classic example

    Of a patent of an idea that was so obvious that it should never have been granted. It's like patenting the 3 times table.

  3. Ash
    Thumb Down

    SUE EVERYONE OUT OF BUSINESS!

    The only people who benefit out of this are the solicitors.

    Who wants solicitors to benefit out of anything?

  4. An ominous cow herd

    "It's like patenting the 3 times table"

    It's not?!? Where the patent office number then?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong

    "The SixAxis is no stranger to legal disputes. The controller has already been at the centre of a legal dispute with vibration firm Immersion over the inclusion of a rumble feature in the device."

    The Sixaxis doesn't have rumble, because of the legal dispute which was ongoing since the DualShock 2. The DualShock 3, which is the Sixaxis with rumble, has now been released because the lawsuit has been settled.

    Facts are always useful to news reporters.

  6. Craig Graham

    Prior Art

    The old TwoWayTV boxes had this for years before this patent was filed - I started work there in 1995, and they'd had games playing with 4 remotes controllers at once for years before I joined the firm. This is so obviously a dud patent......

  7. Steven Davison
    Stop

    Patent Madness

    Personally, I think it's time to get real on patent issues like this...

    The idea of patenting an idea seems stupid...

    If you think of a great invention or design, and don't do anything with it, it's your bloody fault if someone has the same idea as you... mind reading still isn't possible, so the idea hasn't been stolen from you.

    If you make a design for something, and again, don't do anything with it, and someone by chance designs a similar thing, then again, that's your stupid fault for sitting on it..

    Only working prototypes of specific things should be patented.

  8. The Mighty Spang

    lunacy

    identifying where the transmission came from? sod it im going patent putting any kind of identification in letters and email

  9. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Prior Art

    Hardware IDs are used in Wireless networking.

    Hardware IDs are used in Wired networking.

    They're used in bluetooth as well.

    The only reason this case hasn't been thrown out is it mentions "game controller" in the patent.

    It's pretty bloomin obvious that if you have a wireless controller that you'll need some way of identifying which one is generating a signal.

    A patent on the obvious should be thrown out.

  10. Matty

    Timed well it then...

    How long ago was this case put forward? Was it as soon as the controllers appeared? No... it was over a 18 months after release of the consolses when there's been one or two sold and a nice wedge to be had. There should be a time limit of how long after the patent breach that the originator can apply for a slice of the dosh. Maybe there is - I'm no lawyer. They're not having my Wii though.. !

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    ... only now do they come out of the woodwork

    Has no one else come to laugh at these companies that come out of the woodwork ONCE THE PRODUCT IS DOING WELL??

    Makes me laugh like a crimial genius such as Doctor Evil!

    Pitiful fools, don't try to stand there with a puny piece of paper stating this and that - did you accomplish the feat yourself?? No! Then be gone with you!

    I might nip down to the Patents office and get one drawn up for using electricity without wires... I'd make a mint!! Haven't a clue how to do it though, and wouldn't know where to start, but I'm sure someone will be(has) able to!

    *Cracks Knuckles*

    "One Billion Dollars" awaits.. muhuh.. Muwahahuh... MWUHAHAHAHA!!!! *Extends little pinky and places it on bottom lip..

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    filed back in 1996

    sorting their inputs by means of hardware identification numbers tied to each transmission

    Just how else would you get a controller to work? This patent should never have been granted in the first place, it is plainly ridiculous. It is an idea that is not original or innovative. It is one of those ideas that many people come up with at different times for different reasons. It has nothing to do with bluetooth as this company has nothing to do with the bluetooth spec. It may be slightly different but my old kempston joystick on my spectrum used to map the number keys to the different directions on the joystick, can't that be classed as input by means of hardware identification numbers? And that was way back in the 80's.

    I hope it gets thrown out and this company forced to pay all Nintendo and Sony legal costs

  13. jai

    re: Hmmm...

    apparently the guts of the patent state that the handheld controller would have a unique ID code and that it uses this for all transmissions to the console. So the method of connection and syncing (bluetooth) is not relevant. this would apply to wired controllers as well if they performed in this fashion. It is the fact that each controller has a unique identifier and that is what is used to distinguish the data being sent from data from other controllers.

    surely Sony can claim 'prior-art' and that the technology already existed though, because Nintendo released the Wii before the PS3, no?

  14. Joe K
    Stop

    I'll patent the "Off" switch

    I'm guessing that the tin-pot company sitting on this patent until it could get enough cash never registered a worldwide one.

    That would explain why they ain't suing microsoft (unless they are just scared of MS's limitless banks of lawyers).

    But as the controllers were designed and built outside the US Sony just should tell them to go screw themselves, and if the moronic court system does not find in Sonys favour they should stop exporting to the US. That'd cause such economic turmoil that the Gov would step in and maybe finally fix their imbecilic patent system.

    I.E: you can only patent something that ACTUALLY EXISTS!

  15. Stuart
    Stop

    Oh really?

    Bluetooth was \ is licience to Ericsson who sued Sony back in 2002(ish) regarding the use of this in Sony-Ericsson phones!!! Strange but true...

    As for...

    "The SixAxis is no stranger to legal disputes. The controller has already been at the centre of a legal dispute with vibration firm Immersion over the inclusion of a rumble feature in the device."

    Well actually no, the "SixAxis" Controller was not at the center of this but instead the "DualShock" & "DualShock2" controllers, in fact the SixAxis controller does not even have a Vibration function, something that upset many a PlayStation fan-boy.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Stuart

    Stuart wrote:

    "Well actually no, the "SixAxis" Controller was not at the center of this but instead the "DualShock" & "DualShock2" controllers, in fact the SixAxis controller does not even have a Vibration function, something that upset many a PlayStation fan-boy."

    Actually, it upset the fan-girls more than the fan-boys *winks* ;P

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