Nintendo buys Wii Fit-related patent portfolio

Written by David Hing

January 10, 2014 // 9:46 a.m.

Tags: #ia-labs #legal #nintendo #patents #wii-fit

Nintendo has bought up a series of patents belonging to IA Labs, a technology firm that sued the gaming giant in 2010, alleging that the Wii Fit infringed upon them.

The patents filed by and granted to IA Labs covered a 'computer interactive isometric exercise system' that could 'measure a force applied by a user to the effector', a description which would neatly fit the Nintendo Wii Fit board.

IA Labs lost the patent lawsuit in 2012 with the ruling being upheld in a higher court in mid-2013 with the losing company ordered to pay Nintendo for some of the legal costs it had incurred.

When IA Labs was unable to pay the legal costs, the company's entire patent portfolio was sold off to Nintendo at a Maryland sheriff's sale.

'Nintendo's track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits, like the IA Labs lawsuit, when we believe we have not infringed another party's patent,' said Nintendo of America vice-president and deputy general counsel Richard Medway. 'This includes holding those who sue Nintendo responsible for the costs and expenses incurred in patent litigation.'

Nintendo buying the patent portfolio served as partial repayment for the legal costs. The sale was also conducted to sell IA Labs' other remaining assets as well.

'Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others,' added Medway.

Earlier this week, Nintendo lost a patent lawsuit relating to the glasses-free 3D technology used in its 3DS handheld consoles. A court ruled that Nintendo must pay Tomita Technologies 1.82% of the whole sale price of each 3DS sold, coming to approximately $105m in total.

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