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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Hillcrest Laboratories Files Patent Suit Against Nintendo

by Rainier on Aug. 20, 2008 @ 12:49 p.m. PDT

Hillcrest Laboratories has asked the International Trade Commission to form a panel to determine if Nintendo has infringed on four of its patents and filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland. Hillcrest's motion-detecting technology lets users select items on a television screen by waving a handheld device, and while various consumer electronics companies have already licensed its technology, Nintendo has not.

Hillcrest Labs has filed a complaint for patent infringement with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, D.C., and a separate patent infringement suit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland against Nintendo related to the Wii video game system.

Hillcrest’s patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,158,118, 7,262,760, and 7,414,611, which relate to a handheld three-dimensional pointing device, and U.S. Patent No. 7,139,983, which relates to a navigation interface display system that graphically organizes content for display on a television.

Since 2001, Hillcrest Labs has pioneered technology that allows consumers to interact with digital media on television using motion-control and pointing techniques. The company holds 29 patents in this area worldwide, and has filled for more than 100 related patents.

Leading consumer electronics companies, not all of whom have been disclosed publicly, have already licensed Hillcrest's technology for use in their products. While Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights.

Given the current status of the filings, the company will not disclose any additional details about the matter at this time.

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