A company called Anascape, Ltd. sued Nintendo in 2008 for infringing on their patent for a controller similar to the Classic and Wiimote controllers. The Texas-based patent trolls won $21 million from Nintendo for their troubles thanks to a number of experts who attested that yes, the Anascape patents are pretty overarching and could feasibly apply to any controller ever made. A federal judge in the Eastern District just reversed that decision. The company had also sued Microsoft for the same patents and won a settlement.
Here are some of their delightful patents:
Patent #5999084 – “Variable conductance sensor”
Patent #6102802 – “Game controller with analog pressure sensor”
Patent #6135886 – “Variable conductance sensor with elastomeric dome cap”
Patent #6208271 – “Remote controller with analog button”
Patent #6222535 – “Image controller with sheet connected sensors”
Patent #6343991 – “Game control with analog pressure sensor”
Patent #6344791 – “Variable sensor with tactile feedback”
Patent #6347997 – “Analog controls housed with electronic displays”
Patent #6351205 – “Variable conductance sensor”
Patent #6400303 – “Remote controller with analog pressure sensor”
Patent #6563415 – “Analog sensor with snap through tactile feedback”
Patent #6906700 – “3D controller with vibration”
Generally, you’re dealing with a shell company that enjoys going after big gaming. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things and, like any other patent troll, they’ll dry up once their victims work around their patents.