Wii Classic Controllers, Wavebirds, and standard GameCube pads may soon disappear.
By Kris Pigna, 07/22/2008
If you haven't yet gotten around to buying a Wii Classic Controller or old GameCube pad (for Virtual Console use, Smash Bros., what have you), then you might want to do so quickly. Bloomberg reports that Nintendo may be forced to stop selling the controllers as a result of losing a bid to overturn a $21 million patent-infringement court ruling.
The lawsuit concerns the analog sticks in the Classic Controller and GameCube controllers, which Texas-based Anascape Ltd. claims to hold a patent on that Nintendo violated. The court has ruled in favor of Anascape, and U.S. District Judge Ron Clark has rejected Nintendo's request for a new trial. As a result, Clark said he will put a ban on the sale of the controllers (which includes sales of GameCube systems) starting tomorrow, July 23, unless Nintendo posts a bond or puts royalties into an escrow account.
Nintendo, however, is already planning on appealing the decision in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which would put the ban on hold while the case is being heard. "Nintendo was already planning to appeal this case to the Federal Circuit court," said Nintendo spokesman Charlie Scibetta. "The recent ruling by the trial court does not impact that decision."
While the ruling concerns the analog sticks on the controllers, it doesn't include sales of the Nunchuck attachment for the Wii remote, which was deemed not to violate Anascape's patent. According to Doug Cawley, Anascape's lawyer, his client argued for the ban because Anascape wants to enter the market itself, and they claim that Nintendo has "clogged the channel."
Nintendo isn't the only platform holder that's tangled with Anascape, though -- Sony licensed their patent in 2004, and Microsoft settled a looming lawsuit with them out of court on May 1 before the trial began.
This jive pisses me off.
Edited by Pigbag, 24 July 2008 - 10:03 AM.