Why it matters to you
Nintendo’s Switch hybrid console has proven so popular that stores are struggling to keep it in stock. Not everyone is so taken with it. Nintendo is facing a lawsuit claiming a patent violation.
Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, extreme demand has made it difficult for stores to keep up the console in stock. The hybrid design has been praised by players around the world, but one accessory maker not so complimentary. Gamevice, developer of the Wikipad, is suing Nintendo based on alleged Switch patent violations.
According to Engadget, the lawsuit says the Nintendo Switch and its removable Joy-Con controllers violate a patent for concepts used in the Wikipad and its add-on controllers for phones and tablets. The argument is that the Switch’s concept matches too closely to Gamevice’s vision of detachable game controllers and a device with a “flexible bridge section.”
Gamevice is demanding that Nintendo stop selling the Switch, cover all costs related to the lawsuit, and pay for damages caused by infringing on the patent. Both Nintendo and Gamevice have yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Both the Wikipad and the Gamevice controllers feature dual analog sticks, four analog buttons, an analog D-pad, and shoulder buttons. By connecting with a tablet or smartphone, these controllers allow players to enjoy hundreds of games on the go. The biggest difference between Gamevice’s accessories and Nintendo’s offering is that the Switch is intended more as a hybrid between TV and portable consoles.
This is not the first time Nintendo has faced lawsuit claims. Devices don’t even need to be successful to cause an issue. In 2014, Philips tried to shut down production of the Wii U due to a couple of alleged patent infringements. One patent was for technologies that capture and replicate a user’s real-life actions in-game. The other refered to “human-computer interaction systems.”
Nintendo isn’t the only console manufacturer to face legal trouble. Sony has faced multiple patent issues over its controller parts. Way back in 2008, Sony and Nintendo were sued by Copper Innovation Group due to the way the systems are able to distinguish between each controller’s communications.
Legal actions aside, we love the Nintendo Switch. Despite its poor battery life, we value the flexibility to enjoy games in a variety of play-styles.