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Nintendo, Game Makers Dodge Patent Claims over Wii
The Litigation Daily
An Ohio company called Impulse Technology Inc. withdrew a patent infringement suit against Nintendo of America Inc. and five video game makers on Monday, after a judge narrowed the scope of the company's claims over Nintendo's Wii gaming system. But Microsoft Corporation and its gaming software partners are still battling patent claims in another case brought by Impulse and its lawyers at Mayer Brown.
A win for Impulse, a niche player in the gym market for interactive fitness machines, could have been devastating for Nintendo and the game makers: Impulse was seeking not just compensatory and punitive damages, but also a permanent injunction against the sale of Nintendo's Wii console, Wii Remote controller, Wii Balance Board accessory, and Wii Fit Plus software made by the five other defendants.According to Mayer Brown's Alan Grimaldi, the company was a pioneer in what it terms "exergaming" technology, sports simulator systems used by sports teams and high-end gyms. (Impulse Technology owns the company that produces the Trazer, a "medically-based instrument delivering exercise that is interactive," according to an online sales pitch aimed at gym owners.) Now it is going after the video game technology people are using in their living rooms.
Beginning in 2010, Impulse, assisted by Grimaldi and his colleague Brian Rosenthal, launched a campaign to license its technology to Nintendo, Microsoft, and a gaggle of game makers. Those efforts all failed, and Impulse turned to the courts to enforce its patents.