While legal patent battles are becoming increasingly commonplace in the smartphone and consumer technology world, they're not something we've seen a huge amount of within gaming. That could be set to change, however, with tech giants Philips allegedly preparing to sue Nintendo for what it claims are infringements on two of its US patents.
A document leaked on the website Scribd, purported to be on behalf of Philips Corporation, makes the allegations that the company holds patents for "an interactive system for which a user can removely control devices in an intuitive manner", which could prevent Nintendo from retailing the device, as well as affecting any comnpany that offers "human-computer interaction systems".
To us, that seems a little too vague to be something that'll hold up in court, but depending on the exact patents held by Philips, this could prove to be a considerable headache for Nintendo, a company that's already struggling with poor financial results again this year following theunderperformance of the hardware.
The key to the case could rest on claims that Nintendo knew about the alleged patent infringement as early as December 2011 - almost a full year before it released the Wii U.
So what's in this for Philips, apart from the protection of its patents? Well, if the reports are true, the company is seeking three times the value of the damages caused by the alleged infringements in compensation. If it's true that Nintendo knew about the patent claims almost three years ago, it's fair to assume that they believe they're on solid legal footing here, so it'll be interesting to see what twists and turns this case takes, if any.