Press release of July 25, 2011
The Japanese manufacturer of the Wii game console, Nintendo Corp. Ltd and its German affiliate Nintendo of Europe GmbH, prevailed in a patent infringement suit before the Mannheim District Court against Bigben Interactive GmbH, the German affiliate of the France-based manufacturer of video games and accessories.
Defendant Bigben was selling controllers for the Nintendo Wii, the so-called “Remote” and the “Nunchuk”, in Germany. The controllers are the distinguishing feature of the Wii. They are handheld devices which detect the position and the movements of the controllers in space, and translate them into corresponding movements of an “avatar” or other gaming elements on the screen.
In June 2010, Nintendo filed suit against Bigben, for infringement of its European patent EP 1 854 518, covering the Remote, and for infringement of a number of German utility models covering the Remote and the Nunchuk. In a first decision of July 5, 2011 (2 O 113/10), the Mannheim District Court confirmed that Bigben’s Remote infringed EP 1 854 518. The infringement proceedings on the basis of the utility models are still pending.
Bigben has appealed the decision to the Karlsruhe Appeal Court, and filed an opposition against the patent-in-suit with the European Patent Office.