Weekly Poll: Metroid Mania
Silent Hill Origins Cannot Be Contained

Leaked Slides Reveal Immersion/Nintendo Lawsuit Plans

Wii remote To sue or not to sue?  That is the question over at Immersion as the company that holds several patents for rumbling controllers is trying to decide whether or not to sue Nintendo over the Wii's rumbling remote.  Rumor Reporter (a division of AMN) summarizes the issue nicely.

Apparently, the company has received considerable value from its settlement with Microsoft and judgment against Sony. Without having a opportunity to work with those companies in the future - any chance of the company working with the console industry for the long-term could just be a mirage. This has given the company ideas towards getting value from Nintendo, which is having great success with the Wii. Immersion could receive unit royalties in a settlement that would take several years, aiming for something around the range of $75-100 million dollars. This is with the assumption of 100 million units (all systems) from 2007-2001. This $1 unit royalty estimation that I have been hearing could take up to five years to finalize.

However, a few things are keeping the company from pulling the trigger, including no guarantee of winning and the obvious departure from the game business entirely. Avoiding such a lawsuit against Nintendo from happening would also allow Immersion to license Wii technology for use in mobile and web devices. The company could work with Nintendo in more ways than one, especially marketing rights. The estimations of doing this instead — $20 million in revenue per year.

Nintendo has steered clear of such lawsuits in the past as the company has its own patents for rumbling technology that are different than those held by Immersion.  Why Immersion thinks it has a case here I really do not know, but the company seems to be seriously considering a lawsuit.  Rumor Reporter has also offered up what are supposedly a few PowerPoint slides from an Immersion presentation that discuss the benefits and costs of moving forward with legal action.  This looks like nothing more than an attempted cash grab from my point of view.  Now that Nintendo is back on top of things, Immersion seems to believe it is entitled to a piece of the Wii profits for some reason, either through a lawsuit or through licensing agreements.  Pretty slimy, eh?