This past Friday, Texas-based Fenner investments filed suit against Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony over their controllers. Yes, that’s right – all of them.
The suit, which can be viewed at http://googlewatch.eweek.com/Fenner_v_MS.pdf alleges that the three companies all infringed on Fenner’s patent for a “low-voltage joystick port interface.” Essentially, the interface in question is what translates your button presses to on screen actions. The company alleges that each company’s use of the controller design “has caused damage to Fenner” and is seeking damages and legal costs among other demands.
Neither of the companies have issued a statement regarding the suit, but it should be pointed out that last year, Fenner attempted a similar suit, this time against a number of wireless industry companies including Alcatel, Nokia and Cisco regarding another patent, described as "a method and apparatus for managing a communications network for mobile users." The suit against Alcatel was dismissed in May.