Nintendo Decisively Wins Patent Dispute With Gamevice

Published: March 12, 2020 10:01 AM /


The Gamevice controller on a phone running Fortnite

It's a good week for Nintendo in terms of lawsuits. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated all 19 claims of a lawsuit brought against Nintendo by peripherals company Gamevice. You can check out the termination decision document here (be warned, it's solid legalese).

In the original lawsuit, Gamevice alleged that Nintendo infringed on a patent it created for its Wikipad gaming device. According to Gamevice, the design of the Switch and its modular removable controllers is too similar to that of the Wikipad, which has similar functionality. Gamevice also filed a claim with the US International Trade Commission, resulting in an official investigation. That investigation was closed in 2019 after the Commission found no evidence of infringement on Nintendo's part, but Gamevice is appealing that decision.


The Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that Gamevice's patents "were obvious in light of earlier patents". This effectively means that Nintendo was able to show there was nothing in the Gamevice Wikipad that was unique enough to warrant a patent violation on the part of the Switch. That's going to come as something of a blow to Gamevice, undoubtedly, but will give Nintendo cause for celebration.

This marks the second time a decision has been reached regarding a Nintendo lawsuit this week. Yesterday, we reported on a federal judge sending a class-action lawsuit into arbitration. While that wasn't technically a victory for Nintendo - that suit wasn't thrown out, after all, just postponed during the arbitration process - it's still counter to the wishes of that suit's plaintiffs. They were hoping that the case would miss arbitration entirely. Still, Nintendo were hoping that suit would be dismissed entirely, so the Japanese gaming company isn't out of the woods yet. We've reached out to Nintendo for comment on this story and will bring you more on this as it develops.

How do you feel about the Board's decision? Do you think it's the right one? Let us know in the comments below!


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