Appeals Court Upholds iLife Patent in $10M Wii Gaming Judgment

Court rules that the accelerometer patent which a jury said Nintendo violated, is valid

Wii U Console Credit: Nintendo

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week upheld iLife's motion-sensing accelerometer patent, shutting down one of Nintendo's avenues for appeal in a $10 million verdict handed down by a Texas jury in an infringement case against the technology used in the company's Wii Remote controller.

In August, a Dallas jury found that Nintendo's controller infringed on a patent held by iLife. The $10.1 million award came nearly four years after iLife Technologies Inc. and Dallas-based law firm Munck Wilson Mandala filed a $144 million patent infringement case against Nintendo.

The company iLife Technologies uses its tech to monitor infants to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome and the elderly to watch out for falls. But iLife argued that its patented technology could be used in other applications and was used by Nintendo in the creation of its motion-sensing Wii Remote controller.

Although iLife was initially seeking a $4 per unit royalty payment tied to 36 million Wii systems sold in the six years before the suit was filed, Nintendo argued that the patent filed by iLife was invalid because the written description in the patent wasn't properly written. That argument was essentially denied when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles appeals for the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, issued its ruling Wednesday afternoon.

Nintendo still has right to appeal the verdict once the presiding trial judge over the case issues her judgement. We've reached out to Nintendo for comment on this latest development and will update the story when they respond.