Nintendo Switch Under Investigation Over Patent Violation By The International Trade Commission

When it comes to innovations. Nintendo is one of the first names to pop into mind in the gaming industry. With great reputation though comes problems and Nintendo is facing another one right now. The  International Trade Commission has filed an investigation into Nintendo Switch over patent infringement.

The official USITC statement indicates that a ” certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers” aka the Nintendo Switch will be going into an investigation after a suit filed by GameVice, a California-based company that made an attachable controller accessory for tablets and other mobile devices.

The official statement reads:

“The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers and components thereof. The products at issue in the investigation are controller systems with parts that attach to two sides of an electronic device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and the parts fit into a user’s hands and have gaming controls.

“The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Gamevice, Inc., of Simi Valley, CA, on March 30, 2018. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.” The International Trade Commission

As Engadget has previously revealed, Gamevice filed a lawsuit against Nintendo for something similar late last year, alleging Nintendo’s hardware violated patents for both Gamevice’s Wikipad and its detachable controllers for mobile devices. That lawsuit was dropped in October. These are Gamevice’s patents:

Even if the Nintendo Switch really is violating Gamevice’s patent, its use is entirely different. The Switch Joy-Cons are fully usable without being attached to the console as well as feature vibration and IR sensor. It remains to be seen if that lawsuit will actually find Gamevice being the victor.

It’s almost impossible for a patent infringement investigation like this to have an impact on Nintendo Switch imports. If that is to happen we expect Nintendo to manage work a way around like the previous times this thing happened with the Wii, the Wii U, and the 3DS.