A third-party hardware developer filed a lawsuit against Nintendo this week, alleging that the Nintendo Switch’s detachable Joy-Con controllers infringe on its patents.
Gamevice filed a complaint for patent infringement against Nintendo with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, saying that the Nintendo Switch’s design is too similar to that of its own devices, the Wikipad and the Gamevice controller. Gamevice is calling for Nintendo to stop Switch production and is asking for damages.
Here is the Wikipad, which looks vaguely similar to the Nintendo Switch, except the controllers are not separate from each other like the Switch’s.
And here the Gamcevice controller, of which there are several versions that attach to several different brands of tablets and smartphones. The Gamevice controller has a flexible band that connects the two controllers behind the back of the device.
Gamevice was granted a patent for the Gamevice controller in 2015, titled “Combination Computing Device and Game Controller with Flexible Bridge Section,” on which the company alleges the Nintendo Switch is infringing.
The major glaring issue with this accusation of patent infringement is right in the title of the patent, namely: “Game Controller with Flexible Bridge Section.” The Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers are not attached to each other in any way, and can even be used separately from one another. They have no flexible bridge section.
Gamevice alleges that the body of the Nintendo Switch itself is the bridge section, when in fact it is actually a separate device with which the Joy-Cons communicate and can optionally attach onto.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to request for comment.