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Case Update:

This case is now closed. On March 7, 2007, plaintiff Interlink filed a voluntary dismissal of the case under FRCP 41(a) 1. Specifically this allows for the plaintiff to dismiss an action without a court order by filing a notice of dismissal before the opposing party serves either an answer or a motion for summary judgment. In this case Nintendo had not responded to Interlink’s suit with any court filings before Interlink filed the voluntary dismissal.


Original Post:

In today's economy, it is inevitable that any successful product will result in the filing of at least one lawsuit for patent infringement. Nintendo similarly appears to have its first lawsuit based on the Wii. Interlink Electronics, Inc., owner of U.S. Patent. No. 6,850,221, filed a lawsuit against Nintendo on December 4, 2006, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The lawsuit alleges patent infringement based on Nintendo's Wii controller.

The '221 patent is entitled TRIGGER OPERATED ELECTRONIC DEVICE. We will keep you posted as we learn more regarding this lawsuit. All claims of the '221 patent are reproduced below for your own analysis and reading pleasure:

1. A portable, trigger operated pointing device for use with an electronically responsive system, the pointing device comprising: a housing for location at least partly between a first finger and a thumb of a user's hand, the housing having a generally straight, elongated profile defining a longitudinal axis and having a forward end, a rear end, opposed sides, a top face, and a bottom face, the bottom face including a contoured step positioned medially of the forward and rear ends and transversely of the opposed sides, the contoured step having a first face for generally providing a rest location for the first finger of the user's hand; an electronic circuit mounted on a board contained within the housing, the board having first and second opposed sides, the electronic circuit including a first switch on the first side of the board, the first switch being responsive to pressure selectively to open and close the electronic circuit such that the electronic circuit generates a first output signal upon operation of the first switch, the electronic circuit further including a second switch on the second side of the board, the second switch being responsive to pressure selectively to open and close the electronic circuit upon operation of the second switch; a first control element mounted with the housing at the first face of the contoured step and operatively connected to the first switch to be responsive to finger pressure such that pressure applied to the first control element causes the first control element to operate the first switch; a second control element mounted with the housing at the top face and operatively connected to the second switch to be responsive to thumb pressure such that pressure applied to the second control element causes the second control element to operate the second switch; and an output signal emitter responsive to an output signal from the electronic circuit to wirelessly emit the output signal for reception by the electronically responsive system.

2. A portable, trigger operated pointing device for use with an electronically responsive system, the pointing device comprising: a housing for location at least partly between an index finger and a thumb of a user's hand, the housing having a generally, straight elongated profile defining a longitudinal axis and having a forward end, a rear end, opposed sides, a top face, and a bottom face, the bottom face including a contoured step positioned medially of the forward and rear ends and transversely of the opposed sides, the contoured step having a first face for generally providing a rest location for the index finger of the user's hand; an electronic circuit mounted on a board affixable to the housing within the housing, the board having first and second opposed sides, the electronic circuit including a first switch on the first side of the board, the first switch being responsive to movement of the user's index finger selectively to open and close the electronic circuit such that the electronic circuit generates a first output signal upon operation of the first switch, and a second switch responsive to movement of the user's thumb selectively to open and close the electronic circuit such that the electronic circuit generates a second output signal upon operation of the second switch, the electronic circuit further including a second switch on the second side of the board, the second switch being responsive to pressure selectively to open and close the electronic circuit upon operation of the second switch; a first control element affixable to the housing at the first face of the contoured step and provided in communication with the first switch, the first control element operative to respond to pressure applied by the user's index finger to operate the first switch; a second control element affixable to the housing at the top face and provided in communication with the second switch, the second control element operative to respond to pressure applied by the user's thumb to operate the second switch; and an output signal emitter affixable to the housing and responsive to output signals provided by the electronic circuit to wirelessly emit the output signals for reception by the electronically responsive system.

3. A pointing device as in claim 2, wherein the second switch is a transducer responsive element.

4. A pointing device as in claim 2, wherein the first control element is located in a position to act as a trigger movable under pressure at least partly towards the rear end, such movement acting to operate the first switch, and the first switch being a mechanical element.

5. A pointing device as in claim 2, wherein the output signal emitter is positioned to transmit in a direction generally along the longitudinal axis from the forward end the output signals provided by the electronic circuit.

6. A portable, trigger operated pointing device for use with an electronically responsive system, the pointing device comprising: a housing for location at least partly between a finger and a thumb of a user's hand, the housing having a generally straight, elongated profile defining a longitudinal axis and having a forward end, a rear end, opposed sides, a top face, and a bottom face, the bottom face including a contoured step positioned medially of the forward and rear ends and transversely of the opposed sides, the contoured step having a first face for generally providing a rest location for the finger of the user's hand; an electronic circuit mounted on a board affixable to the housing, the board having first and second opposed sides, the electronic circuit including a first switch on the first side of the board and a second switch on the second side of the board; a first control element affixable to the housing at the first face of the contoured step and provided in communication with the first switch, the first control element operative to respond to movement of the user's finger to operate the first switch and thereby cause the electronic circuit to provide a corresponding first output signal; a second control element affixable to the housing at the top face and provided in communication with the second switch, the second control element operative to respond to movement of the user's thumb to operate the second switch and thereby cause the electronic circuit to provide a corresponding second output signal; and an output signal emitter affixable to the housing and responsive to output signals provided by the electronic circuit to wirelessly emit the output signals for reception by the electronically responsive system.

7. A pointing device as in claim 6, wherein the first switch is a mechanical switch and the first control element is operative to respond to pressure applied by the user's finger to operate the first mechanical switch.

8. A pointing device as in claim 6, wherein the second switch is a transducer responsive element and the second control element is operative to respond to movement of the user's thumb to cause a change in a condition of the transducer responsive element.

9. A pointing device as in claim 6, wherein the first switch is a transducer responsive element and the first control element is operative to respond to movement of the user's finger to cause a change in a condition of the transducer responsive element.

10. A trigger operated pointing device for use with an electronically responsive system, the pointing device comprising: a housing for location at least partly between an index finger and a thumb of a user's hand, the housing having a generally straight, elongated profile defining a longitudinal axis and having a forward end, a rear end, opposed sides, a top face, and a bottom face, the bottom face including a contoured step positioned medially of the forward and rear ends and transversely of the opposed sides, the contoured step having a first face for generally providing a rest location for the index finger of the user's hand; at least one electronic circuit mounted on a board affixable to the housing, the board having first and second opposed sides, the at least one electronic circuit including a first switch mounted on the first side of the board, the first switch being responsive to movement of the user's finger selectively to open and close the at least one electronic circuit and thereby generate a first output signal, and the at least one electronic circuit further including a second switch mounted on the second side of the board, the second switch being responsive to movement of the user's thumb selectively to open and close the at least one electronic circuit and thereby generate a second output signal; a first control element affixable to the housing at the first face of the contoured step and provided in communication with the first switch, the first control element operative to respond to movement of the user's finger to operate the first switch; a second control element affixable to the housing at the top face and provided in communication with the second switch, the second control element operative to respond to movement of the user's thumb to operate the second switch; and an output signal emitter affixable to the housing and responsive to output signals provided by the at least one electronic circuit, wherein the output signal emitter is positioned to wirelessly transmit from the forward end a transmitted output signal in a direction generally along the longitudinal axis for receipt by the electronically responsive system.

11. A pointing device as in claim 10, wherein the at least one electronic circuit further includes a third switch mounted on the third side of the board, the third switch being responsive to movement of the user's thumb selectively to open and close the at least one electronic circuit and thereby generate a third output signal; wherein the pointing device further includes a third control element mounted with the housing at the top face and operatively connected to the third switch to be responsive to thumb pressure such that pressure applied to the third control element causes the third control element to operate the third switch.

12. A pointing device as in claim 1, wherein the second switch is a transducer responsive element and the second control element is operative to respond to movement of the user's thumb to cause a change in a condition of the transducer responsive element.

13. A pointing device as in claim 1, wherein the electronic circuit further includes a third switch responsive to pressure selectively to open and close the electronic circuit such that the electronic circuit generates a third output signal upon operation of the third switch; wherein the pointing device further includes a third control element mounted with the housing at the top face and operatively connected to the third switch to be responsive to thumb pressure such that pressure applied to the third control element causes the third control element to operate the third switch.

14. A pointing device as in claim 1, wherein the first control element is located in a position to act as a trigger movable under pressure at least partly towards the rear end, such movement acting to operate the first switch, and the first switch being a mechanical element.

15. A pointing device as in claim 1, wherein the output signal emitter is positioned to transmit from the forward end a transmitted output signal in a direction generally along the longitudinal axis.

16. A pointing device as in claim 6, wherein the first control element is located in a position to act as a trigger movable under pressure at least partly towards the rear end, such movement acting to operate the first switch, and the first switch being a mechanical element.

17. A pointing device as in claim 10, wherein the first control element is located in a position to act as a trigger movable under pressure at least partly towards the rear end, such movement acting to operate the first switch, and the first switch being a mechanical element.

18. A pointing device as in claim 17, wherein the second switch is a mechanical switch and the first control element is operative to respond to pressure applied by the user's finger to operate the second mechanical switch.
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Scott Kelly

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