USA based mobile accessory developer Gamevice has filed a lawsuit claiming Nintendo’s Joycon design has ripped off one of their products. They are asking for monetary damages, but are also asking for the Nintendo Switch to be banned from sale and removed from the market.
According to the lawsuit, the design of the Nintendo Switch is apparently too close to Gamevice’s Wikipad, which features a pair of detachable controllers that can be attached to a mobile device for gaming. The Switch is supposedly an infringement of Wikipad’s patent. While the allegations and demands of Gamevice may seem ludicrous, there is definitely some similar design here. Gamevice holds over 41 patents in 10 difference countries, including the USA.
Nintendo’s Switch console has become a run away success with approximately 5 million consoles sold since its launch, which naturally places a litigation target on Nintendo’s back. This is not the first time a company has tried to sue Nintendo for copyright or patent infringement either. In 2011 Nintendo were sued over their Mii character design by a company called Recognicorp, who claimed that Mii characters used the same technique as their patent for profiling police suspects. In 2010 they were also sued by IA Labs over their Wii Fit peripheral. Plus who can forget Nintendo being sued over the similarity between Donkey Kong and King Kong a few decades back.
In the cases above, Nintendo has been historically successful in defending infringement claims.
Although the products would appear similar visually, one could argue that Nintendo’s Joycon is part of the console, whereas it’s a mere peripheral in the case of the Wikipad.
The lawsuit was filed on the 9th of August, Nintendo have yet to respond.