The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has sided with Nintendo in a patent lawsuit filed by Motiva LLC in 2008 alleging that the Wii console infringed on technology that facilitated "a system to track player position and movement." In its ruling the court gave the plaintiff a scathing rebuke while rejecting its appeal, noting that litigation was "Motiva's only activity that could be related to commercializing the technology."
According to court documents (PDF), Motiva had to prove it had made "significant investment in plant and equipment," "significant employment of labor or capital" and "substantial investment in its exploitation, including engineering, research and development, or licensing."
Judge Sharon Prost wrote that Motiva failed to meet the "economic prong of the domestic industry requirement."
"Motiva was never close to launching a product incorporating the patented technology — nor did any partners show any interest in doing so, for years before or any time after the launch of the Wii," she wrote in her decision. She added that "the evidence demonstrated that Motiva's litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at encouraging adoption of Motiva's patented technology."
The appeal was an attempt to overturn an administrative law judge decision in 2011 that concluded that Nintendo did not infringe on Motiva's patents. Motiva appealed, and the Circuit Court declined to revisit those findings.
"We are very pleased with this result," Richard Medway, Nintendo of America's deputy general counsel, said in a press release. "The court confirmed that Motiva's sole activity, litigation against Nintendo, did not satisfy the ITC's domestic industry requirement. Nintendo has a passionate tradition of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party's patent."