Remember the guy who recently sued Nintendo for patent infringement, pertaining to the 3DS and its new screen tech? I think that case just got one-upped.
U.S. company Impulse Technology claims Microsoft’s Kinect sensor infringes on seven ‘body tracking/motion controlled gaming’ patents it filed in years past, and has filed a lawsuit against the Xbox 360 maker. These are U.S. patents 6,308,565; 6,430,997; 6,749,432; 6,765,726; 6,876,496; 7,359,121; and 7,791,808.
According to the suit (via Patent Arcade), Impulse holds patents for a “system and method for tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space”, as well as “a wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions… and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by use of a camera.”
What’s more, Impulse further alleges that several Kinect games — both first and third-party — are guilty of patent violations, and they’ve added the respective publishers as defendants. The software they claim infringes upon the patents include:
Kinect Sports; Kinect Adventures; Kinect Joy Ride; Kinectimals (Microsoft)
EA Sports Active 2.0 (Electronic Arts)
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved; MotionSports; Michael Jackson: The Experience; Fighters Uncaged (Ubisoft)
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout; Fantastic Pets; UFC Trainer; Dance Paradise (THQ)
DECA Sports Freedom; Dance Masters (Konami)
Virtua Tennis 4; Sonic Free Riders (Sega)
Zumba Fitness (Majesco)
Body and Brain Connection (Namco)
Dance Central (Harmonix)
Impulse asserts that they informed Microsoft of their patents, but the company is “willfully infringing”; they say Microsoft is guilty of “direct, inducing, and contributory infringement.”
The suit is seeking a permanent injunction against Kinect and all infringing products, as well as “monetary damages in an amount to be determined, treble damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.”
Microsoft has not issued an official response to the matter, but it’s reported they are investigating the situation.