Gamevice, maker of controllers for smartphones and tablets, sued Nintendo for copyright infringement back in 2017. They had 19 claims against Nintendo based on the modular nature of the Switch and Joy-Con controllers, as well as some aspects of the technology. They even tried to halt shipment of the Nintendo Switch to the U.S. in 2018. The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (TPO) finally ruled in March that what Gamevice was claiming they had a patent on could not be patented. However, Gamevice isn’t finished yet.
Since losing the case, the company has petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to look into it, and the ITC agreed to an evidentiary hearing. They’re continuing to claim patent infringement, despite the TPO’s ruling that Gamevice’s controllers were not patentable. Oh, and they’re still asking for a cease-and-desist order on the Switch.
Nintendo, like any large corporation that produces goods, has had its fair share of lawsuits. Gamevice at least has an actual product on the market and doesn’t seem like a patent troll office. However, it’s hard to see what they hope to accomplish if we take their lawsuit in good faith. In any case, “the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case,” hence the evidentiary hearing. It’s still possible this could all blow over without consequence for Nintendo.