Another day, another patent lawsuit (Nintendo, MS)

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by StefanS, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. StefanS

    StefanS meandering Velosoph
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    LINK IGN

    Can anyone find the patents in question?
     
  2. Angelcurio

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    You wishes are orders:

    * 5,999,084: "Variable Conductance Sensor"
    * 6,102,802: "Game Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor"
    * 6,135,886: "Variable Conductance Sensor with Elastomeric Dome Cap"
    * 6,208,271: "Remote Controller with Analog Button"
    * 6,222,525: "Image Controller with Sheet Connected Sensors"
    * 6,343,991: "Game Control with Analog Pressure Sensor"
    * 6,344,791: "Variable Sensor with Tactile Feedback"
    * 6,347,997: "Analog Controls Housed with Electronic Displays"
    * 6,351,205: "Variable Conductance Sensor"
    * 6,400,303: "Remote Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor"
    * 6,563,415: "Analog Sensor with Snap Through Tactile Feedback"
    * 6,906,700: "3D Controller with Vibration"
     
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  3. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    But not Sony? That's a first!

    This one's a doozy
    * 6,343,991: "Game Control with Analog Pressure Sensor"

    Filed Feb 22nd 2000, it cleverly and uniquely thinks of creating a handheld controller, but with analogue buttons! What genius! No-one else could ever have thought of that.

    At least some of these patents seem to apply to Sony. Did they settle out of court, are has this company targetted the 'easy' companies first with expectation they won't resist to get a precedent over Sony who always resists? (You do realise that the licensing fees for controllers nowadays must be more than the controller itself. $1 for rumble, $1 for analogue buttons, another $1 for a particular type of analogue button...these techs are only worth pennies but the awards always seem extortionate)
     
  4. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    Are the face buttons pressure sensitive in the PS3 controller?
    Did Sony already pay a licence for the tech in the DS2?

    I must say it's nice to see MS and Nintendo to be filed for a change ;)
     
  5. StefanS

    StefanS meandering Velosoph
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    No, Sony does not yet pay a licence fee for the DS2. They went into revision.

    As for MS, I think they have been in plenty law suits. :wink: If I remember correctly, they've settled with Immersion for the rumble use and bought a stake in Immersion. Plus, don't forget they've had a settlement with some Florida based company for the use of the name "Xbox".
     
  6. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    I mean the pressure sensitive button tech, not the "rumble".
    Are they paying a licence fee for the pressure sensitive button tech, or is the tech they're using different enough from the patent?

    Edit: Couldn't find a website for The Anascape company, nor anything about Brad A. Armstrong the inventor (I did find various sites for Brad Armstrong, but I don't think it's the same person :shock: )
     
    #6 rabidrabbit, Aug 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2006
  7. NavNucST3

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    Forget whether or not the suits have merit right... Why anyone would say its "nice to see..." another large company embattled in patent lawsuits is outright ridiculous. :evil:
    That smacks of the worst kind of f*ism, and is something that is NOT good for the gaming market as a whole, because it never stops.

    Hmmm, why didn't they go after SEGA as well with their controller and specifically when used in combination with the VMU.

    "PATENTS: THE NEW LOTTERY! You gotta play to win..."
     
  8. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    Well, the "nice to see" comment was with a ;)
    But it would be nice to see other companies getting bad press for a change, than just Sony ;)
     
  9. StefanS

    StefanS meandering Velosoph
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    I am sorry, I am just not a very attentive reader :razz:. I don't know whether Sony already pays licence fees or not.
    Maybe it has something to do with the "click" function which is missing from Sony implementations as far as I know.
     
  10. Powderkeg

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    It's interesting to note that both MS and Nintendo are listed in the "Description of Prior Art" section of many of these patents.

    For instance, the "Game controller with analog pressure sensor."

    For some strange reason I see them having a lot of trouble suing companies for patent infringment when the patent themselves refer to those companies as holding related prior art patents.
     
  11. Powderkeg

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    It's missing from MS's controllers as well. They don't click either.
     
  12. StefanS

    StefanS meandering Velosoph
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    Oh, I thought the X360 controller had sg. similar to the "click". Sorry my bad. :sad:
     
  13. Hardknock

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    what? Why would it be nice to see any company getting bad press?
     
  14. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    Some precursory notes, namely some comparative notes with Immersion because this and a number of threads I have seen elsewhere seem to be rife with comparisons.

    First, Anascape is not another "Immersion". Putting aside the screwed up nature of patent laws in general, a quick survey of the companies shows a pretty significant disparity between the companies.

    Immersion is an active technology partner in the gaming industry (they even have a website, www.immersion.com). Long before they sued Sony and Microsoft they were licensing their technology to Logitech, Sony, MS, etc. They hold a number of patents they actively make money on and have been viewed as legitimate patents. These patents not only include various rumble techniques and force feedback but also technologies and devices for the medical field and industrial manufacturing input devices. Their technologies are used in many, many products in a number of industries. Specifically on their lawsuit with MS and Sony, Immersion got MS to settle for ~$25M and has had their claim upheld a number of times in court against Sony (I believe they won their case and won 2 subsequent appeals by Sony).

    Anascape doesn't even have a website and don't appear to make any money from their patents. It doesn't appear at this time that their technologies have been deployed by themselves or licensed by others into any products. We don't even know at this point if these technologies were developed by Anascape or whether it is a law firm in Texas who aquired the patents (see: Texas lawyers who aquired the "3D on a TV" patents 2 years back who is sueing the gaming industry).

    Regardless of of our individual personal opinions about how broke patent law is (I tend to think it is quite broken... and that large companies are some of the worse abusers) it is important to keep in view the companies involved, the patents in view, and their position in the industry. There is a pretty wide gulf between Immersion, an active developer and licenser of control/input technologies, who actively licensed the patents 'violated' and made money from them versus Anascape who is an unknown who does not appear to actively participate in the industry in any form.

    Second is that the patents not only are broad but appear to be late (some after the products were already on the market it seems?) and even mention the competition's related patents. That is gonna be a pretty big problem. To contrast with the Immersion lawsuit, the issue was that Immersion patented (among other things) a specific way to use unequally massed weights to produce a specific "rumble" techniques through software. To contrast with Anascape, they are claiming "Remote controller with analog buttons". It is pretty infinately broad (doesn't mention games at all) and has the basic premise of: A remote with analog buttons. They are less claiming the specific implimentation of how to make analog buttons work with a wireless device but the concept, which is pretty vague considering the idea of remotes with buttons and analog buttons are pretty well established technologies. This patent was not even filed unit late 1998 (approved in Spring of 2001) so I am not even sure they had the idea first. Not all of the patents to appear quite this broad, but I would expect many of these to be thrown out immediately due to their broad nature and impossibility of proving Nintendo and Microsoft actually stole their idea.

    Third, I wonder if Sony, Logitech, Madcatz, Pelican, etc settled out of court? It appears they a number of those claimed patent infringements would extend beyond MS and Nintendo to quite a few other controller designs.

    Overall I am not seeing a lot of similarities in the Immersion and Anascape lawsuits outside "They are about controllers". That does not make the Anascape patents or suit illegitimate in regards to how the system currently works, but the knee jerk reaction and giddy joy a I have seen from Sony posters is the same sort of crap we saw last Summer after E3 and the desire to vindicate their platform(s) of choice instead of really discussing the merits of the news and information.

    Winks don't disolve trollish comments, especially when they are inaccurate in regards to the situation. :wink:

    MS and Nintendo have been sued and get bad press. On this specific issue MS was sued by Immersion and settled out of court for about $25M. MS paid MORE per controller than Sony lost in the lawsuit.

    The only thing "nice" about this is that it gives you and others some sort of platform justification. :wink: Ironic how reading your comments on the Immersion suit it is "bad" when Sony gets sued but "nice" when MS and Nintendo do? I don't think it is nice when people steal other companies ideas, I don't think it is nice when people are frivilously sued, and I don't think it is nice when a technology forum is constantly littered with worthless platform-love fanism that detracts from relevant discussion of the actual topic. :wink:

    As far as I can see it will be nice for Anascape when all the companies who violated their valid patents pay them fair value for their use and violation; and it will be nice for MS and Nintendo (and other future claimed companies) when any frivilous suits are dropped. And it will be especially nice when posters stop making comments that only serve to stroke their own egos and preferences in regards to product affinity. :wink:

    Now that would be nice :wink:
     
  15. one

    one Unruly Member
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    What's wrong with that quote? To me it seems to describe how their patent is distinguished from what Nintendo patented.
     
  16. zed

    zed
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    speaking of immersion
    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=10357
    i love this quote

    “Our loss for the quarter, excluding non cash stock compensation, is the lowest quarterly loss since going public in 1999 and reflects our continued efforts to achieve profitability,â€￾

    so let me get this straight you've lost money in ALL of the last ~24 quarters attempts, but this loss aint so bad since its the least lost yet. wow lets hear it for immmersion, its a loss but its a good loss.
    now im a betting man (just won $207 on oz halftime 8-14 nice ) one thing to learn is when youre hot, youre hot, + when youre not youre not, + mate 24 time in a row is a major failure which == ( who the fucks giving u cash to throw away )
     
  17. AW0L

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    some of these patents dont look like they can apply to the xbox 360 controllers. like the analog pressure sensitive buttons patent. the xbox 360 uses digital time sensitive buttons on the face and the triggers can be argued as being triggers with a pull and throw.
     
  18. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    I'm planning on filing a patent for "Using a directional-pad or analog stick for any gaming use, menu selection, or functionality whatsoever, in and above the ability of a user to pick their nose with it," sue everybody, then retire comfortably on the payouts.

    I mean, SOMEONE'S gonna give, right?
     
  19. fearsomepirate

    fearsomepirate Dinosaur Hunter
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    Too late, I already patented fun.
     
  20. Powderkeg

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    It also implies that in order for them to reach their patent they had to infringe on Nintendo's. They took Nintendo's patented design, and "improved" it, but at it's core, it's still Nintendo's design.
     
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