Nintendo hasn’t had a great couple of years. In fact the only companies in a worse position in the tech industry are probably Nokia and Blackberry. But things started to look up for Nintendo, as we reported earlier in the week. Regardless of strategy, Nintendo managed to attach more Mario Kart 8 games to console sales in bundle packs and side by side stand alone sales than any previous game in the franchise history.
But their hot week cooled off by Friday. That’s when Nintendo lost an important patent lawsuit against Dutch electronics giant Philips.
The patent lawsuit between Nintendo and Philips hasn’t seen a lot of press coverage, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an important patent. The patent revolves around “motion, gesture and pointing control” reports Geek.com. Those just happen to be the fundamentals behind the first Wii system and it’s motion controller.
Microsoft, Sony and several smaller manufacturers have been licensing the patent from Philips for years. Philips approached Nintendo in 2011 and they refused to sign a licensing deal. That left Philips with no choice but to sue.
This week’s lawsuit was won in a British court however three more lawsuits are still pending, one in the United States. Analysts have suggested that if Nintendo loses all the lawsuits they could end up paying a royalty on over 100 million Nintendo Wii consoles sold to date. They may even have to shell out a royalty on Wii U units as well.
Nintendo is expected to appeal the decision but patent experts suggest that the patent Philips holds is rock solid, which is why Microsoft and Sony have been licensing it all along.