Nintendo faces another Wii lawsuit

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Just weeks after Nintendo lost a court case against Anascape Hillcrest Labs placed a court filing stating Nintendo is in violation of their intellectual property. The Maryland-based company claims three of the patents relate to an infringing 3D pointing device. Hillcrest Labs developed and patented Freespace motion control technology as seen in their loop controller in the above photo I took at CES 2008. A patent for the technology was filed on May 2, 2005. Their motion controlled device can be used with TVs to select channels and, as you can see, play a game of Whack-a-Gopher.

 

Hillcrest Labs is also suing Nintendo based on the Wii’s navigation system. In a patent for an interactive content guide for television programming filed on April 9, 2001 Hillcrest Labs invented a hierarchical display with more descriptive submenus. The amount of damages has not been disclosed and Hillcrest Labs declined to comment further on this story at this time. However, we acquired their official statement which is posted below.

 

Hillcrest Labs has filed a complaint for patent infringement with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, D.C., and a separate patent infringement suit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland against Nintendo(R) related to the Wii(TM) video game system.

 

Hillcrest's patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,158,118, 7,262,760, and 7,414,611, which relate to a handheld three-dimensional pointing device, and U.S. Patent No. 7,139,983, which relates to a navigation interface display system that graphically organizes content for display on a television.

 

Since 2001, Hillcrest Labs has pioneered technology that allows consumers to interact with digital media on television using motion-control and pointing techniques. The company holds 29 patents in this area worldwide, and has filled for more than 100 related patents.

 

Leading consumer electronics companies, not all of whom have been disclosed publicly, have already licensed Hillcrest's technology for use in their products. While Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of      respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights.

 

Given the current status of the filings, the company will not disclose any additional details about the matter at this time.

 

Information about Hillcrest Labs and its products are available at https://www.hillcrestlabs.com.

 

About Hillcrest Labs

 

Hillcrest Laboratories (a.k.a. Hillcrest Labs) sells an application creation platform called HoME, which enables consumer electronics manufacturers and service providers to create unique interactive digital media products for TV and other digital media devices. Applications made with HoME are controlled by pointing and provide consumers an intuitive way to browse, discover, and interact with large volumes of digital media. Hillcrest Labs' pointing technology, called Freespace(TM), can be used in a wide range of consumer devices including remote controls, PC mice, and game controllers. HoME and Freespace have received numerous awards including the CES Innovations Award and Popular Mechanics' Editors Choice. Based inRockville, Maryland, Hillcrest Labs was founded in 2001 by Dan Simpkins. The company is funded by NEA, AllianceBernstein, Columbia Capital and Grotech Ventures. For additional information, visit https://www.hillcrestlabs.com.

 

Freespace is a trademark of Hillcrest Labs. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Hillcrest Labs, Freespace, and the Loop are trademarks of Hillcrest Laboratories, Inc.

 

Images courtesy of Hillcrest Labs. Photo credit Spencer/Siliconera.


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