Appeals Court Deems Nintendo Controllers Patent Infringement-Free

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned the 2008 verdict of an East Texas jury that would have resulted in a ban on sales of the Nintendo Gamecube controller, Wavebird, and Classic Controller due to patent infringement.

In 2006, Anascape Ltd took Nintendo and Microsoft to court over the technology used to implement analogue sticks in each company's controllers. Anascape claimed both companies infringed on its existing copyright. While Microsoft settled with the company out of court, Nintendo took the fight to the Eastern Texas District Court...

..and lost.

The court found in favour of Anascape, finding that the Gamecube controller, its wireless cousin the Wavebird, and the Wii Classic Controller did infringe on the copyright, while the Wii remote and nunchuck controllers did not. Nintendo was ordered to pay $US21 million is damages, and a ban was ordered on the sale of the offending peripherals.

The ban was put on hold while Nintendo appealed on a federal level, and now Nintendo has won that appeal.

"In 2008, the jury determined that the Wii Remote and Nunchuck did not infringe," said Nintendo of America General Counsel Rick Flamm. "Today the Federal Circuit's ruling confirmed that none of Nintendo's controllers infringe. We appreciate that our position has been vindicated."

So you can all take your Wavebirds, Gamecube controllers and Wii Classic Controllers out of your wall safes. Our nightmare is finally over, or something.


    Does this mean that Nintendo will resume productions of Wavebirds? That would be awesome... people would stop eyeing off the four I have

      I was under the impression that they were still being made and sold in Japan. Heck, they still make 64 controllers over there.

    I love that for almost everyone I know with a Wii the best way to play it is via a wavebird.

    And yet still they rant on and on about how revolutionary the Wii is.
    Ahem.. yeh, cos right now Im playin my 360 with an ol Atari 2600 control, its SO awesome. Its retro but workable!
    My names MaXX Indie Man 3000, you may not have heard of me.. Im pretty obscure.

    Stories like this piss me off. Patent trolls scoop up patents not because they intend to use them, but merely for cases like this where they can attempt to scam companies for infringement.

    It's nice to see Nintendo or any 'big guy' win for once in a display of reason.

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