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Interactive Fitness Company Sues Nintendo Over Patent Infringement

by Pedro Hernandez - April 14, 2010, 2:40 pm EDT
Total comments: 11 Source: Gamasutra

The technology behind Wii Fit is the subject of this latest lawsuit.

Maryland based company IA Labs, also known as Powergrid Fitness, has filed a lawsuit against Nintendo, claiming that they have infringed two of IA Labs' patents when creating Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and several other peripherals. The company claims to have been "irreparably harmed" by the release of the titles.

The patents behind the lawsuit are "Computer interactive isometric exercise system and method for operatively interconnecting the exercise system to a computer system for use as a peripheral" and "Force measurement system for an isometric exercise device". IA Labs claims to have been in contact with Nintendo since 2007 over the possible overlaps of their patents. In several e-mails it showed that IA Labs wanted to license its technology to Nintendo.

They were also in talks about releasing a new peripheral for the Wii and PC called Sqweeze, a controller created to increase physical activity during gameplay. According to IA Labs' founders Greg Merril and Phil Feldman the technology was used in Kilowatt Sport, the Exer-Station controller, Exer-Station Pro and the PowerSquad Leg Joystick.


NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 14, 2010

"Computer interactive isometric exercise system"

Wii is not a computer.  Case dismissed!

"method for operatively interconnecting the exercise system to a computer system for use as a peripheral"

Nintendo made up their own method.  Case dismissed!

"Force measurement system for an isometric exercise device"

Nintendo made up their own force measurement system, by hiring Jedi interns.  Case dismissed!

Should've sued Nintendo when Wii Fit came out 2 YEARS AGO, before they made all that money!  Oh wait.

BlackNMild2k1April 14, 2010

When will they learn....

can't blame them for trying though.

that Baby guyApril 14, 2010

Well, sure, but at least this time, they're claiming contact with Nintendo since 2007.  That's better than what one could say about most lawsuits, isn't it?

BlackNMild2k1April 14, 2010

That's why I don't blame them.

Others sit and wait till $1billion has been made then pop up out of no where to claim piece of the pie. This company had the decency to contact Nintendo immediately and try to work something out.

I've seen their product though, so I don't think Nintendo has anything to worry about from as far a final result is concerned, but I don't know the tech in their workout machine with a controller attached hooked up to a game console thingamajig.

KDR_11kApril 15, 2010


method for operatively interconnecting the exercise system to a computer system for use as a peripheral

They invented Bluetooth?

ejamerApril 15, 2010

I hate patent lawsuits.  There are so many lame money-grabbing attempts that even the valid ones lose all credibility.  I think that the prosecution should be forced to pay all the bills to file suit, and only receive compensation if they win... maybe that would cut down on the number of ridiculous cases and make patent protection better?  (Not likely... but whatever.)

BlackNMild2k1April 15, 2010

I'm behind that 100%

The plaintiff should pay legal fees for both sides should they get their case dismissed for not actually having a case.

But then the lawyer of the defeated client should take a pay cut for taking a case when there wasn't actually one there. The lawyer on the plaintiff side should earn his money from doing his research into whether the patents are valid and/or infringing and then advise the client on if there is a case of not.

They should also change patent law to protect the active patent users from the non-active patent squatters. If you have a patent for something and have done nothing towards licensing out, putting it into production or shopping it around, and instead file and then sit on it waiting for someone else to come up with a similar idea, put in the time and money to make it a reality, market it till it's a success and profit from it, then come out of the wood works to sue for infringement solely for profit from an idea they never attempted/intended to use is sorta bullshit. Especially if many many years have passed since the awarding of the patent.

This company atleast produces something using their patent. I don't know how similar it is to a balance board tech wise, but maybe there is some merit to their case somewhere in there. They have been trying to contact Nintendo for 3 years about it now.

ThePermApril 16, 2010

so, when filing a patent infringement against Nintendo how many of these companies have looked at Nintendo's loss history, and/or success at appeal history?

TJ SpykeApril 16, 2010

You are right, Nintendo has won the majority of their cases (the biggest two they lost were against Galoob over the Game Genie, and against attorneys general from about a dozen US states over bullying retailers by doing stuff like not sending games to stores that lowered game prices by just $0.01).

ThePermApril 17, 2010

I mean, Nintendo goes through the patent process, and the patent process give Nintendo the GO to start producing and selling stuff. Im thinking this group is just a bunch of patent trolls who dont even have a working model, but even if Nintendo was infringing why would Nintendo have to fork over the money? If anything its the patent office who should because they can't get their act together.

lol speaking of

typed Nintendo into the uspto search, and interesting...

oh and heres the patent

Shift tolerant lens optimized for phase conjugating holographic systems


so i looked at all of their patents and NONE of them resemble the balance board, the only thing remotely like the balance board was a singular weight measuring device that tested isometric tension. Basically how hard you can push against a wall. Other things were like exercise machines connected to a computer. If i were the judge i would make them pay Nintendo's attorney fees, extra fees for slander, and tax payers fees for wasting the courts time. Also, other than this exercise bike type thing the patents are filed after Nintendo's.

not to mention Nintendo has a preceding exercise measuring patent from 1990


TJ SpykeMarch 03, 2012

An update on this case:

A US District Court judge in Maryland has thrown out the lawsuit.


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