Nintendo is Being Sued for Copyright Theft Over the Switch and Joy-Con Design

By Tom Pritchard on at

The Switch has been a big success for Nintendo, and one of the reasons people like it to much is because you can pull it out of the dock and play it as a tablet. The Japanese games titan is now under fire for that particular bit of design, which now the subject of a copyright lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes from accessory maker Gamevice, which alleges that a number of Switch design concepts mimic that of its own Wikipad. The Wikipad is an Android tablet with its own controller, with a layout similar to that of the Switch when it's in Tablet mode. It was first released in 2013, long before the Switch was even rumoured.

Also included are the company's detachable controllers, which let users turns their existing phones or tablets into Switch-like devices.

I'd be lying if I said the devices didn't look similar. While there are differences between the Switch and Gamevice's products, I couldn't say whether or not they're enough to dismiss the lawsuit entirely. I'm not even a novice when it comes to complicated legal matters like this. I'm also not entirely convinced that the design could be considered so basic that no one company could be entitled to a design patent, either.

Gamevice has demanded that Nintendo pay damages for the infringement, and has requested a ban of all Switch sales - something that would have a massive impact on the Nintendo's revenue stream.

The case is obviously going to develop further in the future, and we'll keep you updated on everything that happens - regardless of which company comes out victorious. [RPX Insight via TechRadar]

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