The Nintendo v Colopl lawsuit, which we reported on back in January 2018, continues to drag on despite Colopl announcing a White Cat Project game for the Nintendo Switch. Colopl’s side has on multiple times exhibited behavior such as coming late to the hearing, and needlessly dragging out issues without cooperation. Both parties met up for a fourth time recently to hopefully resolve the issues once and for all. [Thanks, Tmiyadera!]
In the second round of hearings, Nintendo added a sixth patent infringement over a particular method of connecting and recognizing mutual friends across devices. The third round was mainly spent by Colopl refuting this new claim, and as such the rebuttal for the original five patent infringements were pushed to this fourth hearing.
The main takeaway from this fourth hearing is Colopl’s shocking (and late) additional stance that Nintendo’s patents are in fact invalid, thanks to games earlier than their patent supposedly already using that process before Nintendo. For example, the ‘Punicon’ touch panel joystick process was already used in Nobunaga’s Ambition Online and Phantasy Star Online on Windows PC, claims Colopl. While the main input method is different, the process of dragging the mouse, which would show a short or long bar depending on how far you’re moving, is the same.
Meanwhile, Colopl also claims that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Professional’s Standby Mode uses the same process that would later be patented for Super Mario Advance’s Sleep Mode, and so forth.
The problem with Colopl’s claims is that this late attempt at changing their stance is quite unnatural and a risky maneuver that relies on other parties and the judge. Furthermore, using various methods to buy time, Colopl have still yet to show any reasonable evidence via source code or otherwise, that they have not infringed on Nintendo’s patents.
Nintendo is quite likely to win the lawsuit, which has 39.33 million yen (roughly $346,882 USD) in damages at stake. In the previous hearings, Nintendo have been laying out the case with clear logic, while Colopl has spent most of the time up until this fourth hearing arguing semantics.
The next hearing for Nintendo v Colopl, where Nintendo is set to prepare rebuttals against these new claims, is set for December 5, 2018.