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Nintendo acquires former plaintiff's patents at sheriff's sale

Nintendo acquired IA Labs' entire patent portfolio at a Maryland sheriff's sale, Nintendo announced today.

IA Labs filed suit against Nintendo in 2010, claiming that the company violated two IA patents by developing Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. IA Labs filed the patent in question, US7121982 B2, Dec. 4, 2002. It was granted Oct. 17, 2006 and covered a "computer interactive isometric exercise system" that would "measure a force applied by a user to the effector."

A lower court ruled in favor of Nintendo in 2012, while a federal appeals court upheld the ruling in June 2013.

IA Labs was also ordered to pay Nintendo for a portion of the legal costs incurred. According to a statement from Nintendo, IA failed to do so, and the sheriff's sale was held to sell IA Labs' remaining assets. Nintendo's patent portfolio acquisition will serve "as partial repayment for litigation costs."

"Nintendo's track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the IA Labs lawsuit, when we believe we have not infringed another party's patent," said Richard Medway, Nintendo of America's vice president and deputy general counsel. "This includes holding those who sue Nintendo responsible for the costs and expenses incurred in patent litigation. Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others."

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