These Are The Five Patents Involved In Colopl v Nintendo

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Nintendo sued Colopl of White Cat Project fame in early January, and the case continues to go on even today. New information has recently surfaced regarding what sort of patents were infringed in the case. [Thanks, Takashi Mochizuki from The Wall Street Journal]


You can read about the first infringement, the ‘puchicon’, in our previous report.


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Firstly, in patent 4262217 the patent specification in question has to do with characters automatically attacking a nearby enemy as soon as the pointing device (in the DS’ case, the pen, while for smartphones, a finger) leaves contact with the screen. This is a UI patent in order to simplify attack controls and prevent unwanted actions from occurring (such as attacks when trying to run away).


The patent was filed back in 2006.


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For patent 4010533, the function invented and patented is the use of a confirmation screen before exiting Sleep Mode. This was to ensure that Sleep mode couldn’t be removed without player input, to reduce accidents.


The patent was filed in 2001, six years before smartphones became a thing. Other patent example photos clearly show the Gamecube and GBA.


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Patent 5595991 has to do with multiplayer connectivity. It’s a patent on a program restriction that allows connectable games to detect and only play with other registered users, whether through local or internet connection.


The patent was filed in 2005.



The final patent (no. 3637031) has to do with showing player orientation when something blocks the view of the camera from the character. When there is something blocking the camera from the player character (such as around the corner in the picture), the character is shown as a shadow, complete with their orientation.



For clearer illustration, here’s the shadowing effect in action in White Cat Project, where it appears on whatever is being blocked by the trees.


The patent was filed in 2002.

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Image of Alistair Wong
Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!