* Federal Circuit: Nintendo did not violate Motiva's rights
* Motiva plans to pursue case in district court -lawyer
By Jonathan Stempel
May 13 Nintendo Co, one of the world's
largest makers of video game players, won a U.S. appeals court
decision in a patent case that will allow it to keep importing
its popular Wii system into the United States.
Monday's decision by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of
Appeals in Washington, D.C. affirmed a January 2012 ruling by
the U.S. International Trade Commission, which handles many
technology patent disputes.
The decision against Motiva LLC, which sued Nintendo in
2008, could make it harder for U.S. companies to halt imports of
products that allegedly infringe patents on grounds they want to
establish a "domestic industry" for similar products.
In January, in a patent dispute between InterDigital inc
and Nokia Oyj over wireless phones, the
Federal Circuit said companies could seek such relief when they
sought to license products incorporating their patents, even if
such products were not being made.
Motiva, which is based in Dublin, Ohio, had claimed that Wii
infringed two patents for a system to track a game user's
position and body movement.
A three-judge Federal Circuit panel agreed with the ITC that
the main impetus behind Motiva's litigation against Kyoto,
Japan-based Nintendo was to win damages or a settlement, not to
license or make products incorporating Motiva's patents.
This panel said Motiva's litigation did not amount to the
"significant" or "substantial" investment toward commercializing
patented technology that was required under a patent protection
law, known as the Tariff Act, that sets limits on imports.
"Motiva's litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at
encouraging adoption of Motiva's patented technology," Circuit
Judge Sharon Prost wrote. "There is simply no reasonable
likelihood that, after successful litigation against Nintendo,
Motiva's patented technology would have been licensed by
partners who would have incorporated it."
The ITC had also concluded that Nintendo did not infringe
the Motiva patents.
Christopher Banys, a lawyer for Motiva, called Monday's
decision "unfortunate" but said the case will continue.
"We are confident that Motiva will be vindicated when its
case is tried in district court," he said.
Richard Medway, deputy general counsel of Nintendo of
America, in a statement said the company is pleased with the
Federal Circuit decision.
Wii's major competitors include Sony Corp's
PlayStation and Microsoft Corp's Xbox.
The case is Motiva LLC v. International Trade Commission,
U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-1252.