A Texas court has ordered iconic Japanese video game giant, Nintendo, to pay $10 million in damages over a patent infringement lawsuit filed by iLife Technologies. Apparently, iLife Technologies had patented a motion-sensing device for medical applications. The original iLife design was intended to use the motion-sensing accelerometer to monitor for falls among the elderly or to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome.
In the suit, iLife Technologies alleged that Nintendo misappropriated the hardware maker’s tech patent, which Nintendo had intended to use with the Wii game console. More specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Nintendo had originally intended to use the technology on the Wii remote controls, which would have been an infringement on the iLife patent.
And the court agreed, apparently.
This suit actually started three years ago but the jury only finally reached a verdict this week. As you can imagine, Nintendo plans to appeal the ruling. In a statement, the company said, “A jury in Texas found that certain Wii and Wii U video game systems and software bundles infringed a patent belonging to iLife Technologis Inc related to detecting if a person has fallen down. The jury awarded iLife $10 million in damages. Nintendo disagrees with the decision, as Nintendo does not infringe iLife’s patent and the patent is invalid. Nintendo looks forward to raising those issues with the district court and with the court of appeals.”
Originally, iLife had filed the suit—again, three years ago—seeking $144 million. That would be about $4 for every Wii unit sold before the company filed the suit. And if you have not been keeping track, or don’t want to do the math, that is about 36 million units. The ruling, though, will instead give iLife Technologies about $0.27 for each of the 36 million Nintendo Wii consoles sold before the original lawsuit filing.
This is starting to be a bit of a trend for the long celebrated home video game pioneer. Only a few weeks ago, Nintendo found itself in the middle of another lawsuit after the video game accessory maker Gamevice accused the brand of copying patented features for the new Nintendo Switch video game console