US Trade Commission Is Investigating Nintendo

US Trade Commission Is Investigating Nintendoā€¯

The ITC has announced it is investigating, "certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers and components thereof", and that it, "has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case".

It's not uncommon nowadays for smaller companies to launch lawsuits against bigger ones concerning patent infringements.

According to Reuters (thanks, Nintendo Life), Gamevice filed a complaint alleging Switch importation "infringed on its patents". That dropped lawsuit didn't mean that Gamevice was giving up on its quest to get money out of Nintendo for patent licensing. Gamevice has invoked the Tariff Act of 1930 and requested a cease and desist order against Nintendo over unspecified alleged patent infringements relating to "controller systems with parts that attach to two sides of an electronic device".

Nintendo is under the gun with the US International Trade Commission, with another lawsuit in motion against it from accessories maker Gamevice. Nintendo's Switch controllers and the Gamevice controllers do look similar on the surface.

The US trade commission has not yet ruled on the validity of the complaint, but an investigation is now under way.

Like Joy-Cons, Gamevice's detachable controllers are created to attach to a screen by sliding down from the top, but the devices are made to fit with and connect to a variety of third-party tablets. The issue resides with its patents for detachable controllers that resemble the Switch's iconic Joy-Cons.

Gamevice is asking that the USITC issue "a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders". Gamevice voluntarily withdrew their suit in October, which makes this announcement seem odd. If passed, ITC can keep Nintendo from importing Nintendo Switch consoles in the U.S. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.

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