Orrick Secures Another Win for Nintendo in Wii Patent Case

05.15.13

Orrick secured a victory for Nintendo Co., one of the world's largest makers of video game players, before the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in a five-year dispute with Motiva LLC.  In January 2012, the International Trade Commission ("ITC") ruled that Nintendo had not violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act because it had not infringed Motiva's two patents-in-suit and because Motiva failed to show that it had established a "domestic industry" in the United States, a jurisdictional prerequisite in the ITC. On May 13, 2013, the court affirmed, finding that the ITC did not err in ruling that domestic industry was lacking.

"The evidence demonstrated that Motiva's litigation was targeted at financial gains, not at encouraging adoption of Motiva's patented technology. The inventors looked forward to financial gains through Motiva's litigation, not hopes of stimulating investment or partnerships with manufacturers," wrote Circuit Judge Sharon Prost in the Court of Appeals ruling.

This decision, which allows Nintendo to continue to import its highly successful Wii system into the U.S., will have a significant impact on future cases involving patent-licensing companies who seek an import ban on products as a way to demand royalties. 

Supreme Court and appellate partner Mark Davies argued the case. The Orrick team appellate included commercial litigation partners Peter Bicks and Elyse Echtman, and associate Cyrus Rieck; intellectual property partner Alex Chachkes and associate Nicholas Lam; Supreme Court and appellate partner Josh Rosenkranz and associate Katherine Kopp.