Nintendo is currently being sued by Hillcrest Labs regarding patents that have been granted as recently as August. Surprisingly, this case is going forward.
Hillcrest Labs is filing suit against Nintendo regarding four of their patents, including one which was granted a day before they filed suit against the game company in August. Due to an interesting loophole, Hillcrest Labs' case actually holds water despite the fact that Nintendo's Wii, which is related to the lawsuit, has been commercially available since 2006. US Law rewards not the first to patent an item or concept but the first to invent one. Hillcrest Labs now has 45 days to prove, among other claims, that they came up with the idea of "3D pointing devices with orientation compensation and improved usability."
Complicating the situation further is the Patent Reform Act that has been circulating the U.S. Senate for the past year. This bill would change the patent system from rewarding the first to invent to rewarding the first to file. That would mean that Hillcrest's case would have been quickly thrown out. However, since this bill has yet to be passed, the Hillcrest case still stands.
The Rockland, Md based company is worried that Nintendo's "past and continued acts of infringement have damaged Hillcrest in an amount not yet determined and will continue to damage Hillcrest in the future and thus Hillcrest is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate for that infringement."
The question still remains as to whether or not Hillcrest's lawsuit is factual or an attempt to get some fast cash from the company that has found wild success with the Wii. Stay tuned to Nintendo World Report for more details as the case continues.