Are Nintendo Switch Controllers in Violation of Gamevice Patents?

Gaming hardware maker Gamevice has just sued Nintendo for the detachable controllers on the Nintendo Switch, but is there any truth to the claim?

Gamevice is taking the legal stand that its Combination computing device and game controller with flexible bridge section patent is being violated on Switch consoles. However, the ‘flexible bridge’ part clearly shows that the Switch uses a different system. Nevertheless, Gamevice has asked the court to order Nintendo to halt production on its hugely popular handheld hybrid console and award damages for infringement.

The “structural bridge” that connects the main computing part of the Switch to the Joy-con controllers is one of the things that allegedly violates Gamevice’s patents.

Gamevice was originally founded as Wikipad in 2008. Its most notable product was a namesake device that was launched in 2012 and then released after a year’s delay.

It’s quite possible that the court will crush the claim, since the Switch’s controller bridge bears little resemblance to Gamevice’s patent. On the other hand, if the court does find enough similarities between the two, it could spell trouble for Nintendo.

If it plays out against Nintendo, it could result in a sizable out-of-court settlement, considering the strong sales and projected sales of the Nintendo Switch.

The main point of contention here seems to be the ‘flexible bridge’, and it looks like the entire case hinges on this. Gamevice released a controller in 2015 with such a flexible bridge, but the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-cons neither have a flexible band nor are connected to each other in some other way.

Gamevice flexible bridge controller connector

However, Gamevice contends that “The structural bridge in the Nintendo Switch comprises a pathway between the two Joy-Cons.”

Nintendo Switch

Gamevice has not only asked the court for the aforementioned actions, but it has also demanded “a trial by jury on all issues triable by jury.”

No comments were forthcoming from Nintendo after the lawsuit was filed on August 9, 2017, and no further comment was made by Gamevice on the matter. It is now up to the courts to decide whether or not Nintendo is in violation of Gamevice’s “’119 patent, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on September 8, 2015.”

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