nsucurrent.com May 24, 2018

Nintendo faces Switch patent infringement investigation in the US

04 May 2018, 12:00 | Ricardo Garza

The Gamevice detachable controller for mobile phones

The Gamevice detachable controller for mobile phones

While the Switch controllers attach only to the Switch console, the Gamevice patent has to do with controllers that attach to each side of its Wikipad gaming tablet and detachable controllers for third-party tablets.

Now if you know Nintendo Switch, the Joy Cons are detachable in the docked mode, which can be attached to the console in handheld mode. It filed a lawsuit last August, but made a decision to drop the case voluntarily. Gamevice accused Nintendo of violating the patent "Combination Computing Device and Game Controller with Flexible Bridge Section", which relates to Gamevice's Wikipad Android gaming tablet. However, their similarities have clearly led to a bit of a legal kerfuffle between Nintendo and Gamevice.

Nintendo was accused of infringing United States patent number 9,126,119, called "Combination computing device and game controller with flexible bridge section".

"The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers and components thereof".

The US trade commission has not yet ruled on the validity of the complaint, but an investigation is now under way.

Like Joy-Cons, Gamevice's detachable controllers are created to attach to a screen by sliding down from the top, but the devices are made to fit with and connect to a variety of third-party tablets. The case was hardly their first time in court, and it likely won't be their last. The complaint will be assigned to a USITC administrative law judge who will hold an evidentiary hearing.

Gamevice is asking ITC to serve Nintendo with a "limited exclusion order" or a cease and desist order.

If Gamevice succeeds, it wants a ban on Nintendo Switch imports in the U.S., which seems to be a very unlikely outcome.

We'll have to wait 45 days for the target date before we find out whether or not Gamevice is successful in getting the Switch blocked.

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