When the Nintendo Wii released back in 2006, the console became an overnight success. While longtime fans flocked to the system for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, casual crowds were all about the console’s pack-in game, Wii Sports. Coupled with system’s controller, better known as the Wii Remote, Wii Sports gained the console a lot of attention. However, not all of that attention was a good thing. iLife Technologies, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Nintendo in 2013, alleging that Nintendo had infringed on their patent. In 2017, a jury ordered Nintendo to pay $10.1 million in damages, but a new federal court ruling has nullified that award.
According to the federal court ruling, iLife’s claim was far too broad. Nintendo of America’s Deputy General Counsel Ajay Singh released a statement celebrating the ruling.
“Nintendo has a long history of developing new and unique products, and we are pleased that, after many years of litigation, the court agreed with Nintendo. We will continue to vigorously defend our products against companies seeking to profit off of technology they did not invent.”
It’s hard to overstate just how important the Wii was for Nintendo. After years of struggling against Sony and Microsoft with the GameCube, Nintendo found themselves with a huge hit on their hands. The Wii became something of a pop culture sensation. Notably, the Wii accomplished exactly what Nintendo set out to do, and that was to sell a console to people who weren’t considered traditional gamers. While Nintendo has had two consoles since the Wii (the ill-fated Wii U and the current Nintendo Switch), the system continued to receive new games in Ubisoft’s Just Dance franchise up until the fall of 2019.
When the lawsuit began, iLife sought $144 million in damages against Nintendo, accusing the company of violating six patents in total. iLife also sought an injunction against Nintendo, preventing the company from using similar technology in the future. The initial ruling dismissed five of those six claims, but it took two years of appeals for Nintendo to get the ruling on the sixth patent overturned. Nintendo wasn’t the only company targeted in iLife’s patent infringement cases. At the same time, iLife pursued legal action against Fitbit and Under Armour.