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Nintendo Wins Joystick Port Patent Case

Texas-based Fenner Investments' patent infringement suit against Nintendo related to the GameCube and Wii's "low voltage joystick port interface" has been dismissed.
A U.S. District Court judge has summarily dismissed an alleged patent infringement by Nintendo, brought by Texas-based Fenner Investments. The lawsuit was first brought in January 2007 and involved Fenner’s patent number 6,297,751 for a “low-voltage joystick port interface”. Filed in 1998 and awarded in 2001, the patent describes: “a low power port which interfaces a typical 5 Volt joystick peripheral device with a lower power computer port.” “The low-voltage joystick port interface includes a bidirectional buffer circuit and a pulse generator which, together, generate a digital pulse signal, representing a joystick coordinate position, based on an input analog measurement signal,” continues the description. Fenner Investments' lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and claimed that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo had all willfully infringed the patent. The case against Nintendo though, for both the GameCube and Wii, has now been dropped. The judge dismissed the case, ruling that there was no need for a jury trial. "We are very pleased with the court’s decision," said Rick Flamm, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of legal & general counsel in a statement. "Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others." "We also vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party’s patent, despite the risks that this policy entails. I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the tireless efforts of our legal team, which represented us so well."

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