Gamevice, Inc. v. Nintendo Co.
2:17-CV-05923 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2017)
On August 9, 2017,
Gamevice – perhaps best known for the Wikipad and slide-
and snap-on cell phone controllers for Android and iOS
– sued Nintendo in the Central
District of California, alleging that the Nintendo
violates U.S. Pat. No. 9,126,119 B2 to Joynes et al (“the ’119 Patent”).
’119 Patent relates to a game controller, including a computing device (e.g. a tablet) which is attached to an
input device with two sides (e.g. a
left portion of a controller and a right portion of a controller), a “structural
bridge” (e.g. something to hold the
back of the tablet), a conduit, and a fastening mechanism (e.g. structure to connect it all together).  The Wikipad, for example, features
a tablet which slides into a U-shaped controller featuring two analog sticks, a
directional pad, buttons, and a speaker bar
.  A figure
from the ’119 Patent depicting a Wikipad-like device is shown above.
whereas the Wikipad product had a “structural bridge” comprising, for example, the
above-pictured bottom speaker bar and back supporting mechanism, the Nintendo
Switch does not have a bottom speaker bar or the like.  Rather, the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con
controllers independently slide onto the left and right sides of the Nintendo
Switch tablet.  Gamevice argues that a
portion of the Nintendo Switch tablet itself is the “structural bridge”:
Given the Nintendo Switch’s explosive popularity, this may a particularly exciting case to watch. 

Thanks to Kirk Sigmon for preparing this article.

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