LONDON – Royal Philips NV has won a U.K. court ruling in a global battle over patents for recognizing hand gestures and motion on Nintendo Co.’s Wii gaming devices.
Judge Colin Birss said a Nintendo unit infringed two Philips patents in the ruling Friday. Nintendo, the world’s largest maker of video games, didn’t violate a third patent pertaining to modeling a body in a virtual environment, Birss said.
“The common general knowledge did not include a device combining a physical motion sensor with a camera and the reasons advanced by Nintendo for putting those two sensors together in one unit are unconvincing,” Birss wrote in the decision at the U.K. High Court.
Birss said he would issue an order on damages next month.
Nintendo is struggling to revive sales of the Wii units as consumers turn away from computer gaming consoles, lured by inexpensive games on smartphones. The Kyoto-based company sold 2.72 million Wii U units in the year ended March, missing its forecast set in January, which was lowered from before.
Nintendo said it believes the two patents are invalid and it will seek to appeal the decision. The company has been selling the device in the U.K. since 2006.
“Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others,” the company said in a statement.
“Nintendo is committed to ensuring that this judgment does not affect continued sales of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, and will actively pursue all such legitimate steps as are necessary to avoid any interruptions to its business,” it said.
Philips has been pursuing litigation against Nintendo in other countries as well as the U.K., including a lawsuit filed in the United States last month.