Jessica Karmasek Jul. 29, 2015, 1:14pm


OAKLAND, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - A California federal judge this month ruled in favor of Nintendo of America, quashing a patent infringement lawsuit brought against the popular video game company over its handheld systems.

Judge Saundra Armstrong for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, found that eight of Nintendo’s handheld systems -- including the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DS and GameBoy Advance systems -- do not infringe on computer game company Quintal Research Group Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 7,425,944.

Armstrong, in her July 17 order, dismissed the case.

Quintal alleged that Nintendo’s handheld gaming devices infringe the ‘944 patent with respect to the location of their thumb-activated controls.

The company, which, according to court documents, is based in San Francisco, researches and develops “innovative solutions for a broad range of technologies.” It licenses its patent portfolio to others, including some Fortune 500 companies.

Nintendo, in a news release, all but described Quintal as a patent “troll,” saying the patent assertion company is “run by the named inventor of the asserted patent, who is also a patent lawyer.”

According to Quintal’s initial complaint, filed in February 2013, Richard Esty Peterson is named as the inventor of the ‘944 patent.

A search of LinkedIn -- a business social-networking website -- shows Peterson is indeed Quintal’s president and a patent attorney.

“We are very pleased to have this case dismissed,” said Devon Pritchard, Nintendo of America’s general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs.

“The result in this case continues to prove that Nintendo will vigorously defend its innovations against patent lawsuits and will not pay to settle cases simply to avoid litigation.”

Pritchard said Nintendo supports patent reform efforts that reduce such “unnecessary and inefficient burden cases.”

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.

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