Nintendo Faces Switch Patent Infringement Allegations Over Joy-Con Controllers
Nintendo has been selling Switch consoles in droves pushing its earnings to record levels. Months back, a company called Gamevice took issue with Nintendo and filed a patent infringement suit against the Switch for allegedly infringing on patents relating to how controllers attach to the sides of an electronic device. While the Switch controllers attach only to the Switch console, the Gamevice patent has to do with controllers that attach to each side of its Wikipad gaming tablet and detachable controllers for third-party tablets.
Gamevice eventually dropped the lawsuit for unknown reasons. That dropped lawsuit didn’t mean that Gamevice was giving up on its quest to get money out of Nintendo for patent licensing. Nintendo is under the gun again, with Gamevice this time
If the USITC sides with Gamevice the result could be a freeze on the Switch being imported into the U.S.
The USITC notes that an investigation doesn't mean that the complaint has any merit or validity. The complaint will be assigned to a USITC administrative law judge who will hold an evidentiary hearing. After that hearing, the judge will decide if there has been a violation. The next step is more investigation and a ruling will eventually be handed down. Nintendo's Switch controllers and the Gamevice controllers do look similar on the surface. However, the Switch Joy-Cons are much more complex than what Gamevice uses making for notable differences.