On March 21, 2011, Creative Kingdoms, LLC of Rhode Island and its Nehelam, Oregon-based subsidiary, New Kingdoms, LLC, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon against gaming industry titan Nintendo Company, Ltd. and its U.S. affiliate, Nintendo of America, Inc., for infringement of four patents relating to wireless, handheld interactive game controllers. See Creative Kingdoms v. Nintendo Col., Ltd., Case No. 11cv351-HU (D. Or.). The Complaint can be accessed here. [PDF] The patents asserted (with Creative Kingdoms’ description of the alleged subject technology) are:
- U.S. Pat. No. 7,500,917 [PDF}, titled “Magical Wand and Interactive Play Experience,” issued March 10, 2009, concerning a toy wand for facilitating a wireless interactive game where the toy has multiple motion sensors that cause different play effects based on different movement, or alternatively, where the toy is capable of sending different command signals based on movement of the toy and storing user tracking information;
- U.S. Pat. No. 6,761,637 [PDF], titled “Method of Game Play using RFID Tracking Device,” issued July 13, 2004, concerning an interactive game involving a transportable device that stores the player’s progress in the game, resulting in a modified game experience for the player, where the player moves he transportable device in such a manner as to create a seemingly magical play experience;
- U.S. Pat. No. 7,850,527 [PDF}, titled “Magic-Themed Adventure Game,” issued December 14, 2010, concerning an interactive play system where game participants simultaneously use wireless, handheld devices containing motion sensitive circuitry to activate various effects through the game. In addition to responding to play motions, the wireless devices contain memory enabling players to store information pertaining to game play that can be used to modify the game experience; and
- U.S. Pat. No. 7,896,742 [PDF], titled “Apparatus and Methods for Providing Interactive Entertainment,” issued March 1, 2011, concerning a motion-sensitive input device for facilitating a wirelesss interactive game having multiple motion sensors that cause different play effects to activate based on different movement of the input device. This input device is also capable of storing information pertaining to the user’s identity and progress during game play.
The accused devices are Nintendo’s popular Nintendo Wii video game system, the Wii Remote, the Wii MotionPlus, the Wii Remote Plus, the Wii Nunchuks, and the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming system and games. The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, together with injunctive relief. The case has been assigned for pretrial matters to Magistrate Judge Dennis J. Hubel.
On a related noted, Creative Kingdoms and New Kingdoms also filed a Section 337 complaint [PDF] with the U.S. International Trade Commission on March 21, 2011, requesting that the Commission conduct an investigation concerning the accused Nintendo devices under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. See In the Matter of Certain Video Game Systems and Wireless Controllers and Components Thereof, Dkt. No. 2791 (U.S.I.T.C.). The 337 complaint further seeks, among other things, entry of a limited exclusion order barring the importation of any Nintendo device found to infringe the Creative Kingdoms patents.