The Nintendo Switch took the gaming world by storm for its sheer simplicity of usage and portability. Its unique design enabled it to double as a home console and a handheld one. However, the Nintendo Switch console design has attracted a lawsuit for alleged patent infringement from gaming accessory maker Gamevice.
Is the Nintendo Switch console design copied?
Gamevice says that Nintendo violated its patent related for the Wikipad, a gaming-oriented Android-based slate, reports Engadget. According to the lawsuit, the Nintendo Switch console design and its detachable Joy-Con controllers are very similar to Gamevice’s concept of a game controller. In the lawsuit, Gamevice wants a ban on sales of the Switch and compensation for unspecified damages. Neither party has commented on the lawsuit yet.
According to Twinfinite, the Wikipad also features dual analog sticks, four analog buttons and an analog D-pad. Gamevice designed the gadget to enable users to play mobile games using traditional console controls. Though the two gadgets look similar, experts believe that such a lawsuit hardly constitutes any substantial decision.
Further, there are some remarkable differences between the controllers. While the controller of the Wikipad clips in, the Switch controllers’ placement in quite neat. Additionally, the Switch’s Joy-cons can be also used separately. Nintendo has been designing its own controllers for years, including early concepts such as the Wii U since 2012. Although it took quite long to launch the Switch, it should not be a problem for Nintendo to defend itself against the lawsuit, notes Eurogamer.
Just a few months ago, Nintendo won a patent dispute over its Mii characters. The patent lawsuit dates to 2011, when U.S.-based RecogniCorp sued the Switch maker for allegedly infringing upon its patented technology for producing and storing police sketch artist data. However, Nintendo got relief when the United States Federal Appeals Court ruled in its favor.
If nothing else, Gamevice can take a cue from how long such cases are stretched out, involving both time and money.
Switch is very important for Nintendo
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch continues to outperform sales expectations. According to IGN, the Switch has clocked sales of over 4.7 million units, an increase of 1.96 million units since the 2.74 million units that were shipped and sold during the console’s first month on sale.
As far as popular Switch games, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which surpassed Switch sales at one point of time, has now slipped back to 83% ownership. Further, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has clocked in at 3.54 million units after being released on April 28.
For Nintendo, the Switch has worked wonders, helping it post a quarterly profit for the April-June quarter compared to the losses it reported in the previous year’s quarter. Nintendo posted a profit of 21.26 billion yen ($190 million) compared to a 24.5 billion yen loss in the same quarter last year. The Japanese firm doubled its sales to 154.1 billion yen from 62 billion yen in the previous year. For the full year, the company’s guidance remains the same at 45 billion yen in net profits on 750 billion yen in sales.