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Nintendo Sued By Interactive Exercise Company

IA Labs, creator of fitness systems such as the Exer-Station, which combines video games and exercise, filed suit against Nintendo this month, citing Wii peripherals that allegedly infringe on IA patents.
A Potomac, Maryland-based company is the latest to file suit against Nintendo for patent infringement. IA Labs, also known as Powergrid Fitness, sued Nintendo's Japan headquarters and Nintendo of America on April 2, according to a filing obtained by Gamasutra. IA Labs is accusing Nintendo of infringing on two separate IA Labs patents through technology used in the Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, the Wii Balance Board, Wii Remote, Wii Wheel, Wii MotionPlus, Wii Nunchuck and Wii Zapper. IA Labs said that it has been "irreparably harmed" by Nintendo's alleged "continued infringement." The patents in question are "Computer interactive isometric exercise system and method for operatively interconnecting the exercise system to a computer system for use as a peripheral" and "Force measurement system for an isometric exercise device." The claim said that IA Labs had been in contact with Nintendo during 2007-2008, discussing possible overlaps of IA Labs and Nintendo patents. Emails between IA Labs and Nintendo showed that IA Labs wanted to license its technology to Nintendo. IA Labs was also in talks with Nintendo about a product called Sqweeze, a controller for Wii and PC that's meant to increase physical activity when gaming. IA Labs is seeking a court declaration that Nintendo is infringing on the patents, and it's pursuing an injunction against the alleged infringements in addition to unspecified damages. Interaction Labs' founders Greg Merril and Phil Feldman said that their patents were used in IA Labs' products Kilowatt Sport, the Exer-Station controller, Exer-Station Pro and the PowerSquad Leg Joystick, among others. The Exer-Station controller, for example, connects to a video game system and provides resistance for a workout while playing any off-the-shelf video game. The Kilowatt Sport had the same full-body workout-plus-games concept. Both won awards at CES in two separate years. Nintendo recently won an appeal in a suit that accused the game company of infringing on controller-related patents.

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