Nintendo is under fire because of the design of the controllers for their latest console the Nintendo Switch. The gaming hardware developing company Gamevice is filing a lawsuit against Nintendo claiming that the design of the Nintendo Switch’s detachable controllers are infringing on the company’s patents for their own products.
Gamevice was granted a patent titled “Combination computing device and game controller with flexible bridge section,” in 2015, which consists of a computing device linked with a pair of connected controllers on each side of it. Gamevice stated in their complaint about the controllers that they believe that Nintendo was infringing on their property and asked the court to stop production of the Nintendo Switch and offer the money made from the sales of the device as compensation for the damages.
Currently it is unknown if the court will allow the lawsuit to proceed, due to the fact that the Nintendo Switch’s controllers do not exactly copy the Gamevice’s computing device, as the controllers for the Nintendo Switch are not connected by a “flexible bridge” The company suing Nintendo was originally known as a tablet maker named Wikipad, and introduced a gaming tablet in 2012 that featured a detachable video game controller (the same device that they are suing Nintendo over). It was originally supposed to go on sale in October 2012, but was delayed at the last minute due to the company wanting to, “enhance the WIkipad” and make “minor refinements,” and throw in a “special bonus gift” for customers who pre-ordered the device at GameStop, however GameStop never saw the device in their stores after the delay and stopped taking pre-orders for it.
When the device was later released in June 2013, its price had dropped from the originally projected $499.99 to $249.99 and would only be available at online at Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, and Tiger Direct. Since then the company has renamed themselves to their present namesake and has produced gamepads for Apple devices, the most recent ones being released in January 2017. When looking at the Nintendo Switch and the Wikipad side by side, there is no doubt that the two devices are similar especially due to the fact that they can both detach from the controllers, however, the Nintendo Switch does have many more advanced features that separate it from the Wikipad even it’s detachable controllers are very different. Hopefully the judge will not proceed with the case and Nintendo will not have to halt production of the Nintendo Switch. Happy gaming!
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons