Nintendo of America Inc. v. Nyko Technologies Inc.
Case number 08-cv-907
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Nintendo of America filed a lawsuit on June 10, 2008, against Nyko Technologies, in the Western District of Washington, alleging patent and treademark infringement. The patents at issue are U.S. Patent Numbers D556,201 and D556,760, both issued in 2007. The trademark at issue is Reg. No. 3370921, registered on Jan. 15, 2008.

This case concerns Nintendo’s design patents on the Nunchuk controller, and Nyko’s similarly appearing wireless controller, which Nyko refers to as the Nunchuck. Nintendo has two design patents covering the appearance of the Nunchuck, D556,201 and D556,760. The ‘201 patent is the broader of the two, and FIG. 1 is shown below:

The input areas are disclaimed, as is the region where the cable extends from the Nunchuk to the Wiimote.

Fig. 1 of the ‘760 patent is shown below:

This patent more narrowly claims the controller, including the input regions. At issue in this case, I am sure, will be to what extent the shape of the controller is to make the controller contoured to fit comfortably in a user’s hand, i.e., has function, versus what portion of the design is merely aesthetic.

The trademark issue stems from Nintendo obtaining a trademark on NUNCHUK (Reg. No. 3370921, Jan. 15, 2008) for computer game controllers; electronic game controllers; video game controllers and joysticks for video game machines, whereas Nyko is calling theirs a NUNCHUCK (note the additional ‘C’).

We will watch this case and keep you posted of future developments.

DEC. 17, 2008: SETTLED!

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