Nintendo of America on August 14, 2015. Plaintiff sued Defendant for the
alleged past infringement of his Patent Nos. 5,343,445 and 5,452,269. The
patents-in-suit, entitled “Athletic Shoe with Timing Device,” cover a device for
measuring the amount of time an athletic shoe is in the air, similarly known as a pedometer.
the ’445 patent:
A method for indicating hang time off the ground and in the air during a jump
by a person wearing an athletic shoe, said method comprising the steps:
sensing, within said shoe, when said shoe leaves the ground during said jump;
sensing, within said shoe, when said shoe returns to the ground at the end of
said jump; and
activating a hang time indicator on said shoe during the time interval between
said shoe leaving and returning to the ground as sensed in steps (a) and (b),
respectively, said indicator providing an indication of hang time in a manner
perceptible to said person.
‘445 patent issued August 30, 1994, and the ‘269 patent issued September 19,
1995. The filing dates for these patents
were prior to June 8, 1995, when the 1994 Uruguay round of the GATT changed the rules for calculating patent term. Under the old rules, the patents-in-suit expired 17 years from the date of issue or 20 years from
the earliest non-provisional priority date, whichever date is greater.
Therefore, absent mitigating circumstances these patents expired July 6, 2013.
accused products are the Nintendo DS “Personal Trainer: Walking” line, which
includes a pedometer for tracking steps and other activities. The device can be
worn on shoes or other articles of clothing.
The accused product also contains software for operating and controlling
the device to allow users to set personal health goals.
will watch for any interesting developments in this case.