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Nintendo Sued Over Switch Detachable Controller Design

Nintendo is quite experienced at fighting patent infringement lawsuits targeting its hardware. Philips sued the company for infringing a motion control patent related to the Wii. Then a company claiming to own a patent describing handheld systems including the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS filed a lawsuit that also had to be fought and won.

Now Nintendo is gearing up to defend itself against another patent lawsuit, only this one is directed at the detachable Joy-Con controllers included in the box with every Switch.

According to Engadget, the lawsuit was filed by the accessories company called Gamevice who offered the Android gaming tablet known as the Wikipad. It also released detachable controllers using the name Gamevice that can be used with an Apple/Samsung smartphone or tablet.

Gamevice Wikipad patent

The patent Gamevice alleges Nintendo is violating is called "Combination Computing Device and Game Controller with Flexible Bridge Section."

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As usual, the wording in the patent makes it quite difficult to fully understand what is being detailed. The drawing you see above does show a tablet-like device with detachable controller section, though.

Gamevice demands that Nintendo stop selling the Switch, pays damages for infringing the patent, and pays attorney fees, costs, and all other expenses related to the action. Nintendo clearly can't and won't agree to any of those demands and will instead fight the lawsuit I imagine. If it does and loses, then some kind of royalty agreement would have to be worked out with Gamevice.

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