The Nintendo Switch is off to a fantastic start for Nintendo, with sales on track to eclipse the Wii U within the first year. Unfortunately, successful products usually bring the patent trolls out from the shadows. This week, accessory and peripheral maker ‘Gamevice’ filed a lawsuit against Nintendo over the design of the Nintendo Switch.
Gamevice is claiming that Nintendo has infringed on its patents. Specifically, the lawsuit picks out the removable Joy-Con controllers as being too close to Gamevice’s patent for a detachable game controller. In an effort to try and cause as much damage as possible, the lawsuit calls for not just a cut of revenue, but a ban on Switch sales too. For those wondering, below you can see an image of the device Gamevice claims the Switch is infringing on.
In the image above you can see Gamevice’s ‘Wikipad’. As you can see, it is a tablet with game controllers attached to either side but none of it really resembles the Nintendo Switch. There are two analogue sticks, a D-Pad and four action buttons with a display in the middle but that’s really the extent of it. There are a good number of tablets with controller attachments on the market that you could describe in the exact same way.
So far, Nintendo has not commented on the lawsuit but I imagine their lawyers are gearing up to shut this down as fast as possible.
KitGuru Says: This was unfortunately bound to happen at some point. After all, Nintendo managed to popularise something that many smaller companies have been attempting for a few years now. Still, I don’t see this lawsuit having much merit, after all, Gamevice isn’t the only company to attempt the ‘tablet with controller attachments’ concept. Razer did it, Mad Catz did it, not to mention a number of smartphone peripheral makers.