Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nintendo Loses Controller Patent Lawsuit

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the break-out-the-brain-computer-interface dept.

Nintendo 324

kryogen1x alerts us to coverage at 1up indicating that Nintendo controller may soon become scarce — Nintendo lost in court to Anascape over analog sticks in their Wii and GameCube controllers.This isn't the first time the big manufacturers have been targeted in lawsuits involving features in their controllers. From the article: "The lawsuit concerns the analog sticks in the Classic Controller and GameCube controllers, which Texas-based Anascape Ltd. claims to hold a patent on that Nintendo violated. The court has ruled in favor of Anascape, and US District Judge Ron Clark has rejected Nintendo's request for a new trial. As a result, Clark said he will put a ban on the sale of the controllers (which includes sales of GameCube systems) starting tomorrow, July 23, unless Nintendo posts a bond or puts royalties into an escrow account."

cancel ×

324 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I couldn't find info about Anascape (-1, Troll)

Oddder (1330979) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298645)

No webpage, no execuvtive info etc.

Sounds very fishy. Their tatics smells like a kike-controlled operation.

When the government, courts, and congress are controlled by Jews, they are invicible.

The only way to shut them down is to utilize your rights under the 2nd amendment of the U.S. consitution.

Death to communism! HEIL HITLER!

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (-1, Troll)

vviIIyhiII (1330053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298657)

Man how far will da Jews go. They almost controlled everything from MSM to finance to academia to government. Where can we the gentile live?

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298713)

See guys! This is what happens when you DDoS 4chan! Now we've got people trolling as the people who troll Twitter, using made up accounts that are one letter off from Twitter's accounts, which are one letter off from whatever accounts it was Twitter had decided to troll in the first place.

These trolls' power level is OVER 9000!

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298945)

Is 4chan being ddos'd or was it taken down until the spam bots could be solved? Anontalk was responsible, I know that. moot had a sticky up a while ago and then it went dark. haven't heard any news since.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299175)

http://status.4chan.org/ [4chan.org] states that there's a DDoS attack at the moment.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (4, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298691)

Anascape Ltd. is a Texas-based computer firm specializing in analog-related technology.[1] According to the Dun & Bradstreet database, it is located at "15487 Joseph Rd Tyler, TX."[2] All of Anascape's patents, however, are registed to "Brad Armstrong" of Carson City, Nevada. [3] The companies slogan is "Anascape - The Analog Landscape of the Future!!!"[1]

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Anascape [nationmaster.com]

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298767)

Nintendo Co. Ltd. (Nintendo) has been accused of infringing/and or still infringing on the patents listed:
Patent # Title
6,222,525 "Image controllers with sheet connected sensors"
6,344,791 "Variable sensor with tactile feedback"
6,351,205 "Variable-conductance sensor"
6,563,415 "Analog sensor(s) with snap-through tactile feedback"
6,906,700 "3D controller with vibration"

What could the Classic/GCN controllers violate that the Nunchuk doesn't? Probably the analog triggers that *click* when pushed down all the way. "Analog sensor(s) with snap-through tactile feedback" seems an accurate description.

  posting AC because I modded down trolls.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (1)

mjc82 (818189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299009)

I'm just trying the nunchuk and classic controller analog sticks and they look and feel identical to me. And they don't click either!

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299083)

I'm posting AC so you don't know who it is that doesn't give a shit that you posted AC, or the reason why. Good job wasting your mod points on trolls.

Now mark me troll.

If I could only patent AC/troll recursion while remaining AC.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299375)

People who waste points modding down trolls are fags.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299085)

6,563,415 "Analog sensor(s) with snap-through tactile feedback" - This one is invalid through prior art, i.e. atari 2600 joysticks had snap-through tactile feedback.

6,351,205 "Variable-conductance sensor" - This is the stupidest fucking patent, this is just a potentiometer. The patent office is really shining in the stupidity here.

6,344,791 "Variable sensor with tactile feedback" - another stupid ass patent with prior art going back to the 80's. i.e. race steering wheels used in arcade games like pole position.

Maybe I can get a patent for dumb ass patent troll...

6,245,892 "dumb ass patent troll" - Hey I'm going to start sueing!!!

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (2, Informative)

Snowgen (586732) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299221)

6,563,415 "Analog sensor(s) with snap-through tactile feedback" - This one is invalid through prior art, i.e. atari 2600 joysticks had snap-through tactile feedback.

Atari 2600 joysticks were digital, not analog.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299321)

If you don't consider that prior art then look at the controllers for Radio controlled airplanes and cars. I think Airtronics and Futaba could sue the living shit out of anascape. This goes back to the 60's, My dad had a Heathkit R/C rig that used analog sensors with snap-through tactile feedback... BTW even though the 2600 joystick was in essence digital, all the inputs were read through analog mechanisms.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (2, Insightful)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299265)

How the heck would they get "Variable conductance sensor" ? Pot's in game controllers are certainly older than 10 years.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (4, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298823)

A look at corporate head quarters sheds some additional light on the situation [google.com] .

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (1)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298863)

This looks like some luxury home on the shore of a small lake. May be it is a sole proprietorship.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (4, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299027)

What a coincidence, headquartered only a short drive away from Patent Troll Central, a.k.a., the US District Court, Eastern District of Texas.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299181)

The companies slogan is "Anascape - The Analog Landscape of the Future!!!"[1]

Remember, the more exclamation points you use, the more exciting people will think your product is.

Ponies!!!

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (4, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298721)

I was about to post the exact same thing (minus the part about the Jew conspiracy) ... a visit to anascape.com shows that the domain is for sale, and google turns up nothing at all on this company besides reference to lawsuits they've launched. So basically it seems this company invents nothing, designs nothing, manufactures nothing, and sells nothing.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (-1, Flamebait)

westfake (1330997) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298753)

Empty company... this is a typical Jew tactic to launder money.

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299257)

If Jews are patent trolls, does that mean you're like, at least part-jewish?

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298771)

And I thought only software patents were frivolous...

Re:I couldn't find info about Anascape (0, Offtopic)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299127)

dude, the 2nd amendment says nothing about shooting te h jooz, which is clearly what you want to do.

What. (1, Insightful)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298665)

The.

FUCK.

Re:What. (-1, Troll)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298797)

I can't believe, surrounded by posts about Jews, I'm the one being modded troll...

Re:What. (-1, Offtopic)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298819)

I'd have modded you offtopic, probably. Or flamebait.

Unfortunately, there isn't a moderation option for "Contributed nothing of value," or "Said nothing at all."

Re:What. (1, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298873)

That's by design, the vast majority of posts here contribute nothing of particular value and or say nothing at all.

People would have to have a huge number of mod points to handle that.

Re:What. (1, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298961)

the vast majority of posts here contribute nothing of particular value and or say nothing at all.

Most at least try to pad it with more than three words.

Re:What. (0, Redundant)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298881)

I'd love to hear you justify that. This article clearly warrants a "What. The. Fuck."

Re:What. (0, Offtopic)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298951)

However, saying "What. The. Fuck." without giving a single reason why the article warrants that is really a waste of a comment. May as well just tag it wtf and be done with it.

A wasted comment? (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299373)

Cmdr Taco is not yet charging by the comment. It's not necessary to do so because the comments are made from 100% recycled electrons. The comment that bothers you expresses succinctly the shock that such an event could occur in a supposedly fair system. Complain that it's rude or vulgar. It is, and so are the events that induced it. Don't complain that it says nothing, because it conveys an emotion felt by many of us. I'm sure some famous person once said "The trick of writing well is to say what you mean, then stop."

Re:What. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298911)

I'd have modded you offtopic, probably. Or flamebait.

Unfortunately, there isn't a moderation option for "Contributed nothing of value," or "Said nothing at all."

Re:What. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299151)


thread contribution

Clearly the system works (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299289)

These patents involving a stick as a proportional control for direction are creative, innovative and represent a clever improvement in the art. What I'm not sure of is how the inventor is alive still, as the idea has been around for quite a while [iwebland.com] , as shown by these craft which used the identical principle.

Aw, who am I kidding? If there were no patents all of the people involved here could have spent the last year of their lives doing something useful instead of quite carefully and at horrific cost arriving at a conclusion destined to be overturned on appeal. All they've accomplished is to drive up the cost of everything we buy and impede the progress of science and the useful arts.

Patents and copyright need to go away [abolishcopyright.com] .

No problem (-1, Troll)

wwillyhill (1330993) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298671)

Nostradamus has predicted the rise of the Persians. The Jew World Order will be defeated.

Re:No problem (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298707)

Don't be a racist moron, which I guess is redundant.

Could be worse (3, Interesting)

GMThomas (1115405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298679)

Hopefully they will redesign their analog sticks. All my analog sticks on my GameCube controllers are very jiggly and have huge nullzones.

You can have my Wii Controller... (5, Funny)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298681)

When you pry it from my cold, dead hands...

Re:You can have my Wii Controller... (4, Funny)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298711)

Quick! Put the strap on so they can't get it even out of your cold dead hands!

Re:You can have my Wii Controller... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298913)

And ironically, the Wiimote and the Nunchuck aren't included in this. Just the Classic and the Gamecube's controller. So, well, no worries for your cold, dead hands. :-)

Re:You can have my Wii Controller... (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298969)

I dont know about you guys but I intend on having 4 of every infringing item there. I honestly cant fucking believe it! This is why we have a patent troll problem... they win.

Shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298685)

Shit.

As usual ... (1, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298695)

the article was light on details. Who's the asshole in this case? I usually tend to take the little guy's side (assuming a valid patent) but on the other hand, little guys are often casting about for a deep pockets lawsuit. Hard to say who to root for, if anyone.

Re:As usual ... (-1, Troll)

westfake (1330997) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298709)

The Jews did it. Is that simple.

Re:As usual ... (5, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298719)

Hard to say who to root for, if anyone.

How about basing your decision on the merit of the case rather than which side you "like" more?

In any case, the patent is almost certainly overbroad and/or obvious and never should have been issued, and they were only sued in the court that they were because it is notoriously biased in favor of patent trolls.

Re:As usual ... (1)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298773)

happy to see at least someone using greymatter thanks for being so insightfull.

Re:As usual ... (1)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298799)

so you might call the judges district the pat-roll district. Even though I dare not question any judges decision.
Nintendo should post a countersuit in the united nations as this would seen a human rights issue. What do you mean I cannot countersue ?

Re:As usual ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299035)

How about basing your decision on the merit of the case rather than which side you "like" more?

How about "go fuck yourself, you goddamn pretentious asshole"?

Re:As usual ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299357)

I always root for whoever has ACTUALLY MADE A PRODUCT, in the event both companies have done so, the next question is which do I own, if neither I stop caring, if both I decide which I like best. Forget the merit of the case, the only way that's enough is if the patent system wasn't so horribly broken.

Re:As usual ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299387)

... they were only sued in the court that they were because it is notoriously biased in favor of patent trolls.

That's right. TFS and TFA don't mention it, but checking other outlets like Techdirt [techdirt.com] , the lawsuit was really filed in the district of East Texas which is notorious for awarding big money to the patent trolls.

Re:As usual ... (4, Informative)

tux_attack (1173501) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298743)

I lean to Nintendo's side since the patents are registered to some dude in Carson City, Nevada; but Anascape is registered in Texas, famous for their friendly attitude toward patent trolls. I think it's a case of jury shopping.

Re:As usual ... (4, Interesting)

Free_Meson (706323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298889)

I lean to Nintendo's side since the patents are registered to some dude in Carson City, Nevada; but Anascape is registered in Texas, famous for their friendly attitude toward patent trolls. I think it's a case of jury shopping.

Or it's a case of choosing a venue where the judge knows a patent from a potato, where the magistrates are experienced with patent matters for expedited pretrial proceedings, and where the docket that isn't clogged with federal criminal cases that prevent timely resolution of civil matters. Very little in a patent case is decided by the jury and much of what the jury has power over can be corrected on appeal should the jury err. The Eastern District of Texas (and other "rocket dockets") are popular with plaintiffs because they provide the plaintiff with a predictable litigation timetable. They all appeal to the same place (CAFC) so they all follow the same law and extraordinary jury outcomes will be subjected to the same review.

Re:As usual ... (4, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299043)

"are popular with plaintiffs because they provide the plaintiff with a predictable litigation timetable"

And because the Eastern District of Texas is famous for making sure the plaintiff wins most of the time.

Re:As usual ... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299369)

Actually, E.D.Tex is so popular with patent infringement plaintiffs because it hands down victory after victory for plaintiffs on questionable procedural rulings and blatant plaintiff favoritism. Why? Sit down, its story time.

Once upon a time, a certain area of Texas was popular for tort plaintiffs because it frequently produced enormous damage awards, thus providing employment and tourism revenue for an otherwise inconsequential part of the United States. Then, a series of tort reform laws were passed to curtail the activities of the offending courts. So, in search of a new means of corrupting the judicial system to keep a constant flow of legal tourism through Mayberry, a judge from Marshall, Texas decided to publish a paper on patent rules.

Having a judge who understands patent law is an excellent proposition, except when the judge intends to contort the law to draw business into his remote domain and benefit his local associates.

Who decides where a case is brought when the defendant (say, a national corporation) is subject to personal jurisdiction throughout the entire country? The plaintiff. How do you persuade patent plaintiffs to bring lawsuits in your backwards town? By handing out numerous favorable decisions and large damage awards.

And so, E.D.Tex and Marshall, TX are the bane of patent defense attorneys throughout the United States, and patents of doubtful validity regularly receive the imprimatur of a federal district court.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit doesn't agree to hear appeals for every case, nor should it. That would be impossible.

In conclusion, we should never have let Texas into the Union in the first place.

Re:As usual ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299117)

I work in Carson City. There's a lot of money-grubbing, rat-bastard, a$$hole, jerks there, so I can certainly believe that someone there would happily be in on some scheme like this.

Re:As usual ... (5, Informative)

Aussenseiter (1241842) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298769)

I'll give you a hint: Anascape sued Sony and Microsoft for the same thing [slashdot.org] , but they settled out of court.

Re:As usual ... (5, Funny)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298843)

I wonder if part of those settlements was to sue nintendo to bankrupcy.

Re:As usual ... (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299073)

It mentioned only Microsoft and Nintendo. When did Sony settle?

Re:As usual ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299291)

Hard to say who to root for, if anyone.

Most distros suggest you root for yourself.

Prior art? (5, Insightful)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298741)

DOesn't prior art have some bearing on this? I mean, the gamecub controllers have been around for how many years now? And Anascape waits until how long ago to file suit? Can they still defend a patent after this long or am I missing something? Something definitely smells fishy here.

Re:Prior art? (1)

Wingman 5 (551897) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298871)

I this patnent was filed for a controller with rumble in 2000, I think the sony Dual Shock counts a prior art (1998)

Re:Prior art? (4, Interesting)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298903)

Sony and Microsoft already payed these guys. They apparently have a pretty good case.

Re:Prior art? (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299065)

As for Microsoft, it was a litany of patent claims, apparently...

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Anascape [nationmaster.com]

I thought Sony's was Immersion's patent on Rumble? (everyone else settled over the rumble but Sony, which is why Sixaxis was born before Dualshock 3.)

As for the suit, what of the analog sticks of say, the Dreamcast? Or perhaps the analog sticks of 3rd party manufacturers like Logitech and Madcatz?

Just wondering....

Re:Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299149)

Or how about the Vectrex analog controller...?

Re:Prior art? (1)

BillX (307153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299177)

Or the analog joysticks we used on systems like C-64 before mice became popular. The ones I remember had a set of mechanical locks on the axes that changed its behavior between staying put in whatever position you left it in, or snapping back to the center like the analog sticks on modern game controllers do.

Re:Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299081)

They apparently have a pretty good case.

Based on what?

Re:Prior art? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299191)

based on Microsoft not contesting it. Based on Sony not contesting it. Based on Nintendo contesting it and losing. That seems like a pretty good case.

Re:Prior art? (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299277)

Or you know, just your average government corruption at work. Seriously, there have been loads of controllers that should count as prior art to this patent, unfortunately, anything short of patenting breathing gets patented. And it also doesn't help that these guys waited forever to state the case they had (years after the GameCube). If you run a legitimate business you alert people of patent problems during, or shortly after production of the product, if you run a patent troll operation that takes advantage of the US patent system, you wait until 5-6 years after the product was made and then sue for outrageous damages.

Re:Prior art? (2, Insightful)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299109)

The N64 had an analog stick and rumble pak in 1997.

Re:Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299193)

The analog stick on an N64 is very different than the ones used on the Gamecube and Wii.

Re:Prior art? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299261)

That doesn't necessarily matter.

The patent is most likely for a unique design or implementation of the analog stick + rumble pack. The article never says the patent covers the concept of an analog stick + rumble pack, just the design and/or implementation used in the Wii and GameCube.

Re:Prior art? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299347)

From Googling around earlier, patents in question apparently have file dates back to 1996

And Sony was not sued by these guys. They were sued by a company called Immersion (I know you didn't post that, but the person above you did).

Re:Prior art? (1)

ChipmunkDJE (1231596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298895)

Depends on how long the suit's been going, actually. They could have filed the lawsuit back when there was more merit (like at the launch of the Wii when the classic controllers were introduced yet the Gamecube was still Nintendo's main console). I'm not sure when this suit started, but they can take an extremely long time to process, even if it's long after the suit really has realistic merit.

I'm more interested into what they actually patented. Is it really the entire analog? So all of the big 3 (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) have to worry about this (since every controller this side of the Wiimote has one)?

I hope that they win an appeal... that way when the lawsuit finishes the video game industry will have moved on from such "primitive analog sticks".

Chippy

Re:Prior art? (1)

Enki X (1315689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299029)

The lawsuit was filed in August 2006, and the Wii launched in November of the same year.

terms (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299219)

This is a bit of a pedantic response, but "prior art" means something different. Prior art is evidence of the patented invention, or something substantially similar, having already been invented by someone else, earlier than the patent holder's earliest evidence of invention. Prior art usually invalidates a patent, since only the first inventor can patent something.

What you're asking about is the case of someone sitting on a patent for a while, not enforcing it despite being aware of the violation, and then enforcing it later. There is no automatic statutory ban on this, unlike with trademarks, where you can lose the trademark after a period of not enforcing it. There is a general legal doctrine of "estoppel", which prohibits you from inducing someone else into doing something and then suing them; for example, if you told someone you forgave their debt (even if you didn't legally sign documents to discharge the debt), and they relied on your statement to that effect and bought a house, and now you want the money back and they don't have it because they bought a house with it, they could invoke estoppel since you misled them to their detriment about the status of the debt. In cases like this it's a bit harder to invoke---it's not like the patent trolls actively say "hey anyone can use our patent!" and then later "ha ha just kidding, see you in court!" Instead, they keep quiet for a while, and then sue later, so you'd have to argue their silence was acquiescing to or encouraging the use implicitly, and that it was done intentionally for the purpose of getting the defendant to rely on the patented technology before suing. This has worked on occasion.

More Detailed Article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298775)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=awZrhG5wo.jw

Not enough patent trolls (5, Insightful)

adah (941522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298789)

Apparently the big corportations are not hurt enough to change their attitudes towards patents. May more ridiculous patent suits appear, and clear everybody's eyes that patents are sucking and they are obstacles to (rather than protection of) innovation.

Re:Not enough patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299155)

yeah, i'm sure the odd lawsuit every now and again is really going to put a dent in their cash flow.

have you guys completely lost your perspective? do you have any idea how big these companies really are? you're all out of your frigging minds if you ever think this will make a difference. how naive you show yourselves to be.

This means war (1, Funny)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298793)

Anascape, you have just unleashed the fury of zillions of Slashdot zealots!
Take no prisioners!

Patent Office penalties (5, Interesting)

Stephen Ma (163056) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298839)

This looks like another trivial patent. Whatever happened to the old "non-obvious" test for patentability?

Here is one way to fix the problem: let the Patent Office be heavily penalized for every patent overturned by the courts. If the Office goes bankrupt as a result of its own negligence, too bad, let it die. Congress can always start a new Office with completely different management.

At the moment, the Patent Office is too unaccountable; there is little penalty for doing shoddy work. The threat of bankruptcy might concentrate a few minds over there.

Re:Patent Office penalties (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298917)

Here is one way to fix the problem: let the Patent Office be heavily penalized for every patent overturned by the courts. If the Office goes bankrupt as a result of its own negligence, too bad, let it die. Congress can always start a new Office with completely different management.

At the moment, the Patent Office is too unaccountable; there is little penalty for doing shoddy work. The threat of bankruptcy might concentrate a few minds over there.

I like this line of thought, but you are way too generous. Why penalize with money? Give each patent examiner a strike when their decisions are over turned. After three strikes, kill them. ( Most would retire after two )

Hmmm...this plan could bring accountability to other governmental agencies too. Imagine every congressperson getting a strike when a law that he/she passed was found to be unconstitutional.

Prior Art (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298841)

Analog sticks?? The first generation of consoles (as in 1970) used them almost exclusively, see: This link [wikipedia.org] . Surely patents on using an analog stick would have expired by now?

Re:Prior Art (1)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298865)

Iw ould debate that the first atari joystick was a digital joystick, as it hat 4 on/off positions. So it had 4 positions that where either 0 or 1.

Re:Prior Art (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298883)

Surely patents on using an analog stick would have expired by now?

The patent isn't for 'any analog stick ever made'. It's for a 'specific construction of an anlaog stick'. Patents (in theory, anyway) aren't that broad.

Re:Prior Art (4, Informative)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299167)

Consoles in the 1970's had paddles. That's not really the same thing.
The earliest mainstream console with an analog stick I'm aware of was on the (82?) GCE Vectrex, though from your link the infamously terrible 5200 stick predates it by a few months.

Anyway, this patent is about analog sticks with built in rumble packs. Previous controllers (N64,DC) used plug in modules instead. Building one into the controller itself, wow, go go patent trolls.

Analog sticks?? The first generation of consoles (as in 1970) used them almost exclusively, see: This link.

Re:Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299275)

Language is but a machine - and I push and pull it's levers.

I hope you know a good mechanic.

Obvious ? (2)

powerspike (729889) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298855)

I would put this under the obvious section, think about it, arcade machines have used them for god knows how long (i remember them 20 years ago). If you put arcade games ona console, you'd expect that the same controllers would be ported to a controller as well. Thinking back, there was a game called time commando(or something similar) in which you could face six or eight directions using the stick, there have been a few with dual controllers as well. The machines the games are run on have changed, so shouldn't the controllers be upgrades just the same ?

Re:Obvious ? (1)

aXi (6533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24298875)

arcades used digital joystricks.

The technology has been around for a while (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24298991)

Try this joystick [wikipedia.org] out you dumb fags. Maybe you'll get the aids and die like the bitches you are!

It's hard to believe there was no prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299007)

the '700 patent has a November 2000 filing date. I couldn't bear to read the whole verbose patent, but the gamecube controller is so very boring that it's hard to imagine what could be in this patent and in the gamecube controller that wasn't in a controller for a system released before November 2000---including the N64, Dreamcast, and Playstation, or any controller for PC. Why wasn't there any prior art to save Nintendo's bacon at trial?

Why not go back to digital sticks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24299023)

Why not convert to a digital stick. They have digital rotary dials with lots of precision, basically hook 2 of those up to a stick and presto all you would need to modify is the controller's programming and your not infringing.

Oh, How terrible for Nintendo (-1, Flamebait)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299057)

That they're now forbidden by law from selling a console they probably don't even want to support anymore. I guess they'll just have to make due gouging consumers on their latest console.

Re:Oh, How terrible for Nintendo (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299119)

First, ignoring the fact that said lawsuit also affects the classic controller (you know, for the Wii). And that the Gamecube controller can be used on the Wii. Also ignoring that said console is the cheapest of the three of this generation, and widely considered the best value. But, I guess if you irrationally hate [Nintendo,Consoles,Videogames], you probably think their prices are exorbitant.

P.S. if you were trying for "funny", you should try to add an air of truth to your statements. "Nintendo will just have to convert completely over to waggling now" is much funnier, but I doubt even that will get me modded up.

I had a good chuckle.... (3, Insightful)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299095)

According to Doug Cawley, Anascape's lawyer, his client argued for the ban because Anascape wants to enter the market itself, and they claim that Nintendo has "clogged the channel."

Hah... Tell that to MadCatz, or Game Infinity, or Pelican Accessories and others. They seem to be doing quite well at making alternative controllers. (With analogue sticks!)

At what point (2, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299135)

... do the actions of a few motivated individuals become "intellectual terrorism?" Excuse the hyperbole, but every time a patent lawsuit is filed, a lot of people are harmed. How long will we allow this to go on?

Umm Sega has prior art, no? (2, Informative)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299263)

Sega had an analog controller before Nintendo and Playstation, it was bundled together with the game NiGHTS into Dreams (wicked game btw) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamepad#Saturn [wikipedia.org]

The real creator is Atari, Not anatroll, (3, Interesting)

StrangerAtRandom (1123963) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299271)

As I recall Atari was the first to put the analog controller into my hands. They should be the one's with the patent. Perhaps someone from Atari should sue anascape or who ever the person Patent trolling is.. I also think the penalty for a patent troll should be life without money. Yes take all their cash away and force them to live at the sewer dump.

What's the difference? (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299337)

Between Atari's analog stick from way back and nintendo's analog stick? metal poles vs rubber pads with conductors?

Patent troll does not mean "patent I dont like" (3, Interesting)

voss (52565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24299343)

Anascape may be an IP company, but it doesnt mean Brand Armstrongs patents are invalid.

This guy has 32 patents issued to his name.
http://globaldevices.com/ [globaldevices.com]

Now the validity of these patents may be called into question. Looking at the patents it doesnt bring to mind submarine patents as much as the question...shouldnt the person who patents something actually be able to demonstrate a working prototype before a final patent is issued not just a paper invention?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?