It’s getting all too easy to dismiss patent lawsuits, since it seems like some companies exist solely to sue other companies. Two elements of ThinkOptic’s against Nintendo seem to distinguish it from pure patent trolling, however: it actually sells a relevant product (see video, below), and not all of Nintendo’s patents were approved.

As Law360 reported, ThinkOptic’s filing asserts its U.S. Patent Number 7.796.116,” Electronic equipment for handheld vision based absolute pointing system,” is the reason why one of Nintendo’s patents was rejected, which therefore “is proof that that the Nintendo defendants knew or should have known of the objective risk that one or more of their products infringed at least one claim of at least the ’116 Patent.”

The suit also refers to two other patents: “Handheld Device for Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System” (7,852,317) and “Handheld Vision Based Absolute Pointing System” (7,864,159).

Those three patents are the intellectual property core of ThinkOptic’s Wavit Remote and, as TechCrunch first reported, are the basis for ThinkOptic’s assertion that the Nintendo Wii, its controllers, its sensor bars and even the games are infringing. Several other companies also are named in the suit, including Nyko Technologies, GameStop, RadioShack, and JC Penney.

As with any successful innovative product, this is far from the first time Nintendo has been sued for alleged patent violations. Fenner Investments had its suit dismissed, Anascape Ltd. had its upheld, Interlink Electronics filed a voluntary dismissal, Motiva appears to still be in the court system, Hillcrest Laboratories settled out of court, and there undoubtedly have been others.

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