Nintendo loses $21 million patent infringement suit

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Entertainment console and video game manufacturer Nintendo of America, Inc. was ordered to pay $21 million Wednesday to Anascape, Ltd., a small Texas video game company after losing a jury verdict in a patent infringement lawsuit concerning hand-held controllers for its Wii and Gamecube video game systems. Anascape filed a complaint against both Nintendo and Microsoft Corporation in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 2006 for infringement on a patent for a "hand held computer input apparatus and method." Microsoft reached a confidential settlement agreement with Anascape for an undisclosed amount. Nintendo is expected to appeal the verdict.

In January, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning whether a patent holder's rights may be exhausted through certain license agreements. In September 2007, the US House of Representatives approved the Patent Reform Act of 2007, the first overhaul of US patent laws in over 50 years. In early 2006, service for the widely-used Blackberry hand-held devices was nearly stopped before Blackberry maker Research in Motion reached a settlement agreement in its patent dispute with NTP, Inc.

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