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In January, Fenner Investments filed a lawsuit against Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, alleging the companies were infringing on a patent for a certain type of joystick design. Fenner said that Nintendo’s Wii controller was a rip-off. So Nintendo reached out to the inventors behind the patent who were no longer at Fenner, hiring one to be a consultant on the case and work to get his own patents invalidated. Fenner was flabbergasted, and sent letters to the inventors reminding them of their contractual obligations.
Nintendo’s lawyers, led by Michael D Broaddus of Perkins Coie, responded by filing a motion asking the Texas District Court to stop Fenner’s harassment of the inventors and halt its obstruction of access to evidence. The motion has since been sealed. The response, filed Wednesday, hasn’t yet been. Fenner answered what it calls criminal allegations by saying that “Nintendo apparently determined that its best course of action was to convince the inventors of the patent-in-suit to violate their oaths to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and to induce the inventors to breach their patent assignment agreement.”
In the response, Fenner’s lawyers led by Robert M. Chiaviello, Jr. of Fulbright & Jaworski also hint they may bring a claim against Nintendo for tortious interference.
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