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Nintendo wins two Wii patent disputes

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Nintendo recently prevailed in patent lawsuits with two different firms regarding the technology in the Wii, the company announced over the past week.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in Nintendo's favor on Dec. 19 in a long-standing patent dispute with Creative Kingdoms. The latter company had appealed a September 2013 decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission, in which the ITC had determined that the Wii and its accessories did not violate any Creative Kingdoms patents for "magic wand" toys developed for use in theme parks.

Creative Kingdoms' original complaint, which the company filed in April 2011, sought to have the ITC ban the importation of the Wii and the Wii Remote. Last week, the federal appeals court affirmed the ITC's ruling and denied Creative Kingdoms' appeal.

"Nintendo's track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits"

"We are pleased with the court's determination," said Richard Medway, vice president and deputy general counsel for Nintendo of America, in a prepared statement. "Nintendo's track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits, particularly when the patents are being stretched beyond the inventors' ideas. Nintendo continues to develop unique and innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others."

Nintendo won a separate patent battle yesterday with UltimatePointer in a lawsuit the latter company originally filed in September 2011 in federal court in Texas. UltimatePointer, the developer of a presentation tool called Upoint, alleged that the Wii and Wii Remote violated two patents regarding wireless "direct pointing devices." On Dec. 22, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted Nintendo's petition for summary judgment due to noninfringement of the patents.

"We are very pleased with these decisions, which confirmed Nintendo's position from the beginning — we do not, nor have we ever, infringed these patents," said Medway in a press release from Nintendo. "The result in this case, once again, demonstrates that Nintendo will continue to vigorously defend its innovations against patent lawsuits, even if it must do so in multiple courts and commit significant resources to defend itself. Nintendo continues to support reform efforts to reduce the unnecessary and inefficient burden patent cases like this one place on technology companies in the United States."

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