UltimatePointer, LLC, has sued Nintendo within the district of East Texas for alleged patent infringement regarding the WiiMote. UltimatePointer is the company behind an unreleased product called the UPoint. The patent in question is number 7,746,321 and entitled, “Easily deployable interactive direct-pointing system and presentation control system calibration method therefor [sic].”
In addition to Nintendo, GameStop, BestBuy, Sears, K-Mart, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s, Radioshack, Toys ‘R Us, Dell, QVC, BJ’s, COMPUSA, Tiger Direct, Trans World Entertainment, and JJ Games are also being sued by association. UltimatePointer filed a provisional application on May 28th, 2004, and an official application on May 24th 2005. In their court proceedings they claim that Nintendo was notified of the ‘321 patent, but went on to sell the allegedly infringing hardware anyhow. They request damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
Analysis: A similar case was filed earlier this month by ThinkOptics, LLC, but there are some distinct differences between the two. First of all, the legal proceedings for the previous case cited three patents, rather than just one. Second, the technology and means described in ThinkOptics’ case was rather clear and concise. Finally, and most importantly, ThinkOptics has had a product on the market since 2006.
UltimatePointer does not have the same credibility. First of all, their product is “undergoing rigorous testing” despite having filed a patent for it way back in 2005. Secondly, their patent is very vague: their descriptions reference some form of projector system, and their claims are many. However, they don’t lay out precisely what technology is being used on the hardware level, so this seems more like a conceptual patent.
Interestingly, UltimatePointer is suing Nintendo but not ThinkOptics. One would think that since they were so sue-happy with so many names tagged onto their suit that they’d have no qualms with adding another. Ultimately, I think UltimatePoint is trolling. I also wonder what they were thinking when they titled their patent.