Hillcrest Labs: Nintendo's Wii Infringing Our Patents

23 thoughts on “Hillcrest Labs: Nintendo's Wii Infringing Our Patents”

  1. I agree with Joe Harper — on the face of it, this appears legit. It also means you can’t exactly use the motion sensor in your iPhone to control AppleTV (or any TV interface) without Apple (or a 3rd party ISV) licensing Hillcrest’s IP.

  2. Costly litigation as is imminent in this case could be avoided with more thorough searches for prior art. As a leading nation in the global economy, we need access to better prior art so that the U.S. Patent Office can more accurately determine true innovation and industry can rely on the efficacy of granted patent rights.

    Perhaps by engaging the online global community we will be able to tap a collective knowledge base to uncover prior art not yet identified. This will avoid unnecessary patent litigation focused more on the inefficiencies of the patent system rather than on the correct allocation of industry resources on valuing true innovation. I am interested to hear more about this from other readers.

  3. Costly litigation as is imminent in this case could be avoided with more thorough searches for prior art. As a leading nation in the global economy, we need access to better prior art so that the U.S. Patent Office can more accurately determine true innovation and industry can rely on the efficacy of granted patent rights.

    Perhaps by engaging the online global community we will be able to tap a collective knowledge base to uncover prior art not yet identified. This will avoid unnecessary patent litigation focused more on the inefficiencies of the patent system rather than on the correct allocation of industry resources on valuing true innovation. I am interested to hear more about this from other readers.

  4. Costly litigation as is imminent in this case could be avoided with more thorough searches for prior art. As a leading nation in the global economy, we need access to better prior art so that the U.S. Patent Office can more accurately determine true innovation and industry can rely on the efficacy of granted patent rights.

    Perhaps by engaging the online global community we will be able to tap a collective knowledge base to uncover prior art not yet identified. This will avoid unnecessary patent litigation focused more on the inefficiencies of the patent system rather than on the correct allocation of industry resources on valuing true innovation. I am interested to hear more about this from other readers.

  5. Was reading the section 983 description in the first document, and just kept thinking – this is commonsense, how did they get a patent for a hierarchical categorization. Oh well. Maybe I should go get a patent on an org chart. First you zoom out from the CEO…..

  6. “this is commonsense, how did they get a patent for a hierarchical categorization”

    The USPTO is tripe. They are understaffed and have government employees that are merited based on their patent throughput. It’s much easier for them to accept patents than reject them. That requires more paperwork!

  7. This seems a trifle different than your average patent troll suit—unlike those holding companies that exist only for the purpose of suing people, this company actually has produced a product.

    Should be interesting to watch.

  8. this is getting ridiculous. for one, there’s no crossover between the wii and media centre markets. secondly, it’s getting to the point where eventually one company will patent “bricks” and be the only ones allowed to manufacture them.

    also interesting in the video how they said it doesn’t work like the wii.. i’m assuming was filmed before litigation? 😉

  9. Finally a legit claim. I had seen enough of those “We own the patents to red rounded block made out of plastic that is halfway inside another plastic block and can be pressed down with one finger” type of lawsuits. 🙂

  10. Is this a marketing strategy? Since they are not widely known. More people will know them after reading this news.
    There will be more upside than downside for a start-up doing this. There is nothing much to lose besides venture capital money, but if then win, they win big.

  11. Truth be told, even if the lawsuit falls in favor of Hillcrest Labs, and Nintedo’s product is ordered to leave the American market, Popular demand
    dictates the Nintendo will now receive much more attention that whatever product Hillcrest claims to have.
    thank u hillcrest, you have made Nintendo much more popular,

  12. Om,
    The ITC formally agreed to hear Hillcrest’s case today (9/17). See ITC statement: http://www.usitc.gov/ext_relations/news_release/2008/er0917ff1.htm

    Also, Hillcrest disclosed today that Kodak is using their technology for the new Kodak Theatre HD Player, which will be available this month. Product description is here: http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=13111&pq-locale=en_US

    Here’s an excerpt from Hillcrest’s press release today from Kodak:

    “It is important to Kodak to partner with innovative companies that
    complement Kodak technologies,” said Julie Gerstenberger, Kodak’s Director of External Alliances and Vice President, Office of the CTO. “Hillcrest Labs’ unique 3-D like applications and motion-control technology offer compelling advantages, and we’re pleased to have licensed its technologies.”

  13. “My question is why did it take so long for this company to file suit?”
    Because the potential damages (i.e., stakes in the poker contest) go up if the alleged infringing product has been out in the market for awhile.

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