Gamevice, the company who manufactures gaming peripherals for smartphones and tablets, is suing Nintendo once again claiming that the design of the Switch, including its Joy-Con controllers, is similar to the design of Gamevice patents for controllers, which slide onto smartphones and tablets.
The peripheral company has already filed a similar complaint back in August 2017 but later withdrew two months later. The complaint alleges that Nintendo was aware of the two patents held by Gamevice for the design of their peripherals attached on the opposite sides of a mobile device. The Gamevice device that the company is talking about was released back in 2015, which supports Apple and Samsung smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, Nintendo announced the Switch back in 2016 and released the device in the market by March last year.
“Defendants [Nintendo] direct and instruct customers to assemble and use the components [the Joy-Con controllers] in an infringing manner,” Gamevice revealed in the complaint. “Defendants are aware that, absent infringement, the bundled Switch system will not have a substantial use because the Joy-Con Controllers need to be assembled in the infringing manner to recharge.”
In Gamevice’s complaint to the ITC, they are asking the commission to block the importation of Nintendo Switch consoles into the country. Furthermore, the lawsuit is seeking “injunctive relief and monetary damages” due to the sale of the devices in the US.
Of course, given Nintendo’s position in the gaming industry, they are frequently bombarded with lawsuits for patent infringement. However, this particular situation doesn’t seem to be a case of “patent troll” since Gamevice does not only hold the patented designs in question, but they have been manufacturing them for some time now. You can check out the full complaint by Gamevice here.