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IA Labs CA, LLC v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. et al. 
District of Maryland
Civil case No.: 8:10-cv-00833-PJM.

Case Update: May 2012

In March 2012, a Maryland District Court judge dismissed IA's suit against Nintendo alleging that several of Nintendo's peripheral accessories infringed upon its patents. Rick Flamm, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of Legal & General Counsel, announced "Nintendo has a passionate tradition of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party’s patent. We refuse to succumb to patent trolls."  This victory marked the third consecutive win for Nintendo in patent litigation.

Original Post:

Nintendo’s Wii gaming system is again the subject of patent infringement lawsuit. IA Labs, LLC recently filed a Complaint in the District of Maryland against Nintendo alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,121,982 and 7,331,226. Nintendo’s allegedly infringing activities and products relate to the “Wii console video game machines and related ‘Wii Fit’, Wii Fit Plus’, Wii Balance Board’, ‘Wii Remote’, Wii Nunchuck’, 'Wii Motion Plus’, ‘Wii Zaper’ peripheral devices and software.”

On their face, both patents are assigned to Powergrid Fitness Inc. According to the Complaint, IA Labs acquired the patents from Interaction Labs, which is “also known as Powergrid Fitness.” The ‘982 patent recites two independent claims (claims 1 and 9). Claim 1 recites:
1. An isometric exercise system serving as a peripheral to manipulate a virtual reality scenario of a host processing system in accordance with user exercise, comprising:
a frame to support a user;
an effector to provide an isometric exercise for said user, wherein said effector is fixedly secured to said frame and includes an elongated rod;
at least one sensor coupled to said rod and responsive to at least one force applied by said user to said effector to perform said isometric exercise, wherein said applied force effects a measurable deformation of said rod that is measured by said at least
one sensor; and
a processor coupled to said at least one sensor and including a data processing module to receive and process data corresponding to applied force information measured by said at least one sensor and to transfer information to said host processing system to control said virtual reality scenario of said host processing system in accordance with performance of said isometric exercise and manipulation of said effector by said user.
The Complaint alleges that “Intereaction Labs developed several products incorporating the technology of the ‘982 Patent. These products include the Kilowwatt Sport, the Exer-Station controller, Exer-Station PRO, and the PowerSquad Leg Joystick, among others.” The ‘226 patent recites three independent claims (claims 1, 10 and 19). Claim 1 recites:

1. A force measurement system comprising:
an effector device including a hollow interior;
an inner support disposed within said hollow interior of
said effector device; and
at least one sensor secured at a selected location to said inner support and configured to measure a force applied to said inner support; wherein at least one outer surface portion of said inner support is coupled with at least one interior surface portion of said effector device such that forces applied to said effector device are at least partially transferred to said inner support for measurement by said at least one sensor.
IA Labs further alleges that Nintendo’s infringement was willful. Specifically, IA Labs alleges that Nintendo met with representatives of Interaction Labs in December 2007 to discuss their “force feedback technology” and communications continued until at least November 4, 2008.

The case is IA Labs CA, LLC v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. et al. Civil case No.: 8:10-cv-00833-PJM. We will continue to monitor this case.
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