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IRAC Brief

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Patent infringement occurs when a company or an individual uses or sells a patented invention. The scope of a patented invention and its extent of protection depend on the claims of each granted patent. A claim tells the public what is allowed or not allowed without the patent holder’s permission. A patent infringement can only occur in the country where the patent was granted. This will prohibit anyone company or person from making, using, selling or importing the patented item within the country the patent was granted. A patent infringement issue is what the Triton Tech of Texas LLC alleged against Nintendo of America, Inc and the creation of the Wii Remote. In the case of Triton Tech of Texas and Nintendo of America, Triton sued Nintendo of America, Inc. (“Nintendo”), alleging that the Wii Remote TM used in combination with a related accessory infringes the ′181 patent.

The ′181 patent is directed to an input device for a computer. It discloses that a user can communicate with a computer by moving the input device–much like using a mouse, but in three dimensions. The input device includes components for determining its position, attitude, and motion. In the preferred embodiment, these components include three accelerometers and three rotational rate sensors for measuring linear acceleration along, and rotational velocity about, three orthogonal axes. In its’ defense, Nintendo of America claimed that it did not infringe on the 181 patent of Triton Tech of Texas LLC but stated that numerical integration is not an algorithm but is an entire class of different possible algorithms used to perform integration. It claimed that Triton Tech of Texas LLC has no monopoly over the use of numerical integration.

The district court rendered that the claims were indefinite and was determined that the device in dispute was, “a conventional microprocessor having suitability programmed read-only memory.” (Findlaw, 2013) There was also injunction that the 181 patent did not “disclose any algorithm for performing the recited integrating function.”(Findlaw, 2013)Triton Tech is still actively appealing the jurisdiction. The case was transferred from the Eastern district of Texas to the Western District of Washington to further construct their appeal. The court determined that the Triton tech of Texas 181 patent was not specific on the use of the accessory in question, in other words it was too broad and indefinite. As the district court correctly determined, numerical integration is not an algorithm but is instead an entire class of different possible algorithms used to perform integration.

Claim Construction Order at 16. Disclosing the broad class of “numerical integration” does not limit the scope of the claim to the “corresponding structure, material, or acts” that perform the function, as required by section 112. Indeed, it is hardly more than a restatement of the integrating function itself. Disclosure of a class of algorithms “that places no limitations on how values are calculated, combined, or weighted is insufficient to make the bounds of the claims understandable.” Ibormeith, 732 F.3d at 1382. During the process of building the Wii Remote Nintendo should have referred to the following intellectual property issues: talk to other businesses already doing similar trading, check with trade mark or patent attorneys to see whether there have been previous registrations of your own IP.

To be a success in the USA and internationally, their business must protect its assets with some form of IP rights protection. This example is pertinent in a business managerial setting because executing directives requires establishing clear goals and providing efficient feedback. Due to the popularity of the Wii system, it is my opinion that Triton wanted to capitalize on the success of the device by trying to question the legitimacy of the product. Triton wanted Nintendo to pay them for their technology rather than utilize their creation. Where Triton failed was in their inability to provide the algorithm that was being used by their product and how does it correlate to the product by Nintendo. If they would have provided that information they may have stood a better chance in receiving judgment in their case.

References –
Cheeseman, Henry R.; Business Law: legal environment, online commerce, business ethics and international issues; 8th edition TRITON TECH OF TEXAS LLC v. NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC (2013, June 13). In FindLaw for legal professionals. Retrieved June 21, 2014, from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-federal-circuit/1669657.html

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