USITC begins Nintendo Switch probe

Nintendo Switch Under Investigation After Gamevice File Complaint
Nintendo faces Switch patent infringement investigation in the US
Author

04 May, 2018

Game Vice originally sued Nintendo a year ago, but dropped the case and instead went to the USITC, who has formally launched an investigation. That was back in August, and the firm eventually dropped the case, but now it seems it's back at it again.

This suit was voluntarily dismissed in October past year but, in late March 2018, Gamevice sued Nintendo again, alleging infringement of U.S. patent numbers 9,855,498 and 9,808,713 through the sale of Nintendo Switch.

Gamevice has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, claiming that the Nintendo Switch infringes on its patents and asking that the commission ban the import of the console into the United States. The complaint was filed under the Tariff Act of 1930 and the remedy sought by the investigation is a cease and desist against Nintendo on importing the Switch.

Gamevice's Wikipad (A) and detachable controllers for mobile devices (B) as pictured in a previous lawsuit.

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Now, it's worth pointing out that the matter of starting an investigation does not imply that the USITC believes there is any validity to the claims by Gamevice. The issue resides with its patents for detachable controllers that resemble the Switch's iconic Joy-Cons.

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. Then following review and further investigation, the USITC itself will make a final determination on Gamevice's request for a cease and desist.

ITC has said in a statement that it "has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case". 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. The USITC will announce a target date for the completion of its investigation at some point within the next 45 days, and at that time, we should have more answers.


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