Super Mario and friends are facing legal action from a US-based semiconductor intellectual property company over an alleged patent infringement - potentially within the Wii games console. Texas-based Lonestar Inventions filed the suit earlier this month in which it alleged that Nintendo's US division has violated a patent it …
Surely they cannot sue Nintendo directly? They would have to sue IBM and ATI who design and manufacture the chips for Nintendo?
Surely Nintendo just use components from various manufacturers. I doubt Nintendo make their own capacitors.
So why don't they sue the component maker?
Trolling for Dollars
Indeed, we have a new contestant for America's favorite game show - trolling for dollars. Maybe Bob Barker could do something with this now that he's in retirement.
I can't wait to see the showcase showdown (aka trial) unless the contestant decides to settle for a consolation prize.
Too bad that's all that seems to be left in America is shakedown system where no one actually makes anything but can only leech on the success of others through the obscurest of means. My wife and I have often wondered who can afford all these really nice houses they keep building - and it dawned on me - these must be trial lawyer neighborhoods. I can't imagine what the HA bylaws of these things look like, but I'll stay away - tyvm.
The vaporware wealth created by the torte system in the US will bring the house of cards down beoe too long.
Don't they have a non-obviety requirement?
Does the USA not have a non-obviety requirement for patents?
There are precisely three ways to increase the capacitance of a structure: (1) make the plates larger, (2) move the plates closer together, and (3) use a better dielectric. This should be obvious to everyone who has studied physics to A-level and seen the equation
capacitance = area * dielectric constant / distance
I hope Lonestar get their behinds handed to them on a plate.
And then if Nintendo can manage to find the patent examiner responsible for approving this patent, both they and the Patent Office should gang up together and sue him or her for granting such a stupid patent. It might make other patent examiners think twice about what they rubber-stamp. But even once would be nice!
It's a method, not a physical constant
Stiles, that's true, but that's not what the patent covers. It covers a method of increasing the constant, not any form of increase, which would be silly and insane. Coming up with new methods of increasing it are quite a bit harder than learning the formula for capacitance.
Giles -- we're talking about capacitors -actually formed on the chip itself-, rather than individual, discrete capacitors.
I still contend that any method for increasing the dielectric constant should be obvious to a person skilled in the art (in this case, the art of doping semiconductors). There are only so many impurities you can introduce, and their properties should all have been measured in the laboratory by now just in the ordinary course of research.
Patents of this type go completely against the original intent of the patent system, which was to encourage the sharing of knowledge by encouraging innovators to publish their work (the short-term monopoly on control of the use of the work being a sweetener). Perhaps patents should be withdrawn if they are (ab)used to stifle progress rather than enhance it. Or maybe we need a scheme where patent examiners are paid to reject patents, and/or a bounty is paid on Prior Art which could be used to invalidate patents.
Not a good time
Nintendo have a rocky road ahead. Recently announced that their Wii sales were falling in the US. However in Just a few months we should see a huge platter of new games for the Wii wahoo.