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IP attorney says Nintendo's legal victory against iLife is a warning to other patentees

Be warned!
by rawmeatcowboy
23 January 2020
GN Version 5.0

All the way back in 2013, iLife filed a lawsuit against Nintendo pertaining to the Wii. iLife claimed Nintendo's Wii Remote tech infringed on one of their patents. That legal battle has been going on ever since, but earlier this week we found out Nintendo has emerged victorious.

This was a particularly ugly legal battle that many lawyers were keeping an eye on. Following Nintendo's victory, law firm and gaming IP specialist Dorsey & Whitney shared a statement from Ryan Meyer, an intellectual property attorney at the company. Meyer says that this outcome is a warning to patentees with overly-broad claims. Check out Meyer's full statement below.

"The iLife ruling provides another example of the patent ineligibility of using conventional hardware to implement a conventional, abstract idea.

The iLife decision is a warning to patentees, particularly with respect to computer hardware-implemented inventions, that overly broad claims are more likely to be found to be patent ineligible. As a precaution, patentees should identify the most inventive features of their invention and draft at least some claims directed specifically to those features.

Had iLife been more mindful of the inventive aspects of its technology when drafting its claims, this case might have ended much differently. As the Court noted, iLife’s patent arguably discloses a preferred embodiment with inventive features, but iLife’s asserted claim was found to be invalid because it fails to include any of those features.

iLife is procedurally interesting because, although Nintendo teed up the patent ineligibility issue in a motion for summary judgment, the Court waited to decide the issue as a post-trial judgment as a matter of law, without presenting it to the jury. The Court’s decision was partly based on expert and inventor trial testimony which emphasizes how evidence presented to the jury can affect even non-jury issues."