The Nintendo Switch is the first product from a major game console maker to feature a tablet that works with a set of detachable controllers. But it’s a design some smaller companies have tried before.

Now one of those companies is suing Nintendo, saying that the Switch console design infringes on an existing patent.

Gamevice currently makes video game controllers designed to connect to the sides of smartphones and tablets including iPads, iPhones, and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. But the company also designed the Wikipad gaming tablet, which launched in 2013 as a 7 inch Android tablet with a detachable controller featuring analog sticks, a D-Pad, and action buttons.

In fact, the company was originally called Wikipad, before changing its name to Gaemvice when it shifted from making its own tablet to making accessories for existing devices.

The patent that Gamevice says Nintendo is infringing on is for a
combination computing device and game controller with flexible bridge section.”

Gamevice is seeking money for the “irreparable injury” caused to its business by the violation of this patent, and the company is asking a court to block Nintendo from “making, using, selling, and offering for sale the Nintendo Switch.”

While it’ll be up to the court to determine whether the Switch really infringes on Gamevice’s intellectual property, it’s hard to imagine that a lot of Switch customers would have simply bought a set of Gamevice gamepads if only they’d been aware of the option.

via Engadget and CNBC

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17 replies on “WikiPad gaming tablet maker sues Nintendo over Switch console design”

  1. it’s hard to imagine that a lot of Switch customers would have simply bought a set of Gamevice gamepads if only they’d been aware of the option.

    That might affect the level of damages they can be awards, but in itself, doesn’t hurt the claim that Nintendo infringed on its patent.

  2. Another example that the patent system should be reduced a lot. Waste of court time, waste of money.

    1. Have you read the patent? I find it hard to believe anyone can reach that conclusion without studying both the patent in question and the design points of the Switch that supposedly infringes upon it.

      1. I did, and on reading the Switch infringes their patent. However, it is written so broadly that it affects a whole industry of devices, not dissimilar to Apples patent of a rectangle with rounded corners.

        Which is why I think Nintendo should win, to allow freedom for this form factor. It’s preposterous that readers of Liliputing would be against such liberty, as evidenced by the dislike buttons.

        1. “i get dislikes because I have a factually incorrect opinion but I’m gonna say it’s the readers’ fault for not agreeing with me.”

          Fixed that for you.

          1. Why the pretentious attitude?
            Is it because you can’t actually argue against my points, so you resort to attacking me personally?

            Don’t you have any confidence in your stance??

          2. You’ve failed to understand the flaw in your logic. You’ve claimed the “court-attempt will fail” but yet also stated gaemvice has the advantage. So why? Because you don’t like how the system works? Makes no sense as to why the court system would take Nintendo’s side simply because they’re tired of patent-trolls. Yes, the system isn’t balanced or perfect but that’s how it works.

          3. He stated that the patent will fail because of how broadly the patent is written. He’s saying that technically Wikipad is correct but legally and realistically speaking in the legal sense they wont win. Not that hard to understand…

  3. This court-attempt will fail, as I hope and expect it too.
    Not that I’m a fan of the Switch, in contrast, I think the upper-management butchered the concept that was crafted by a smart designer for the low-level by making it a cheap, gimmicky, and in ways a cash-grab.

    I just want freedom for this form-factor so that other people could build upon it.
    I’m looking at you GPD.

    1. I’m not sure why you’re getting down voted. Maybe Wikipedia lawyers are salty and doing it because their case is so hopeless

      1. They down vote here when you are biased without proof of reason. He is pro-nintendo when they are clearly in the wrong here. Brad called this one down the line.

        1. I’m pro-progress.
          I like the concept of the Nintendo Switch but not the execution. So I actually don’t see myself as pro-Nintendo.

          If you read the patent, it’s very broad, and restricts technological progress and competition.

          1. By pro-nintendo, I meant pro-underdog. My bad. Besides, they will most likely settle out of court and enter a licensing agreement with each other.

  4. The Switch controller is basically just two controllers which can work together as one through software. It has no “flexible bridge section”, so does not even meet the most basic part of the description, which is also extremely overly broad. This will hopefully be thrown out quickly.

  5. “Gamevice is seeking money for the “irreparable injury” caused to its business by the violation of this patent, and the company is asking a court to block Nintendo from “making, using, selling, and offering for sale the Nintendo Switch.””

    Wouldn’t they first have to prove in court that Nintendo has in fact “made”, “sold,” and “offered” the Switch? I still have yet to see one on a shelf in any store…

    (Joking, but only a little bit)

    1. Kinda like how Frito Lay North America had their “Win a Switch Every Hour” sweepstakes lol. I expected to open a bag and it say, “Sorry, the switch is currently out of stock. Try again!”

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