Gamevice is Suing Nintendo

In recent gaming news, it has come to my attention that a company called Gamevice is suing Nintendo.  Gamevice has created detachable controllers that attach to smartphones and tablets in much the same way as the Joy-Con controllers attach to the Switch.  If you’re interested in reading more, the web site I visited was CNBC.

Looking at both the Nintendo Switch and Gamevice controller, I suppose such a lawsuit is…understandable, as far as lawsuits go, as I do agree that both devices look pretty similar.  What I find very crazy, however, is that Gamevice is demanding that Nintendo cease making and selling the Switch altogether.  Furthermore, Gamevice is claiming that Nintendo is greatly hurting them and should award them some as-of-yet undetermined sum of money to make up for the “injury” Gamevice has suffered.

First of all, I have to wonder whether or not the Nintendo Switch is really causing declining sales in the Gamevice detachable controllers, considering the Nintendo Switch cannot be used to play mobile games, and the Gamevice controllers cannot be used to play Nintendo games.  Any consumer is going to make their decision based on whether they like Nintendo, mobile games, or both (and if the answer is both, said consumer would have to purchase both devices).  Furthermore, similar devices are seen all the time.  I mean, can’t Nintendo sue Microsoft due to the very similar buttons and layout of the XBox controller compared to Nintendo controllers dating back to the Super Nintendo?  Both of them have been known to include A, B, X, and Y buttons in a slanty, square-shaped layout.  What about Sony and Microsoft, who both make controllers with four shoulder buttons, two L buttons and two R buttons?

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft could just as easily sue each other over their many shared similarities.  They could claim the other companies are hurting their sales, and rightly so.  Someone with limited money (pretty much all of us) have to make choices based on many different factors.  Which console costs less?  Is more reliable?  Has a better game library?  And yes, someone who can only afford one console may have to choose between the XBox or PlayStation, and they are going to inevitably end up buying one and not the other.  I chose the PS4 over the XBox One.  Should Microsoft sue Sony for the loss of several hundred bucks?  Competition is a natural part of business.  It is a natural part of life.  Youtubers must compete.  Blogs must compete.  Books and movies and music all compete with others in their respective category, and the most popular (insert whatever you like) will inevitably get better sales.

If Gamevice can’t deal with competition in the marketplace, then, they’re going to have a pretty hard time doing business.  Competition is everywhere, and you can’t demand that someone stop doing something similar to you.  Yes, a company or an individual does have the right to be upset if their product/service/intellectual property is truly being copied.  For example, if someone decides to write a series of books, let’s say seven, about a young wizard who goes to wizarding school in Europe, and who goes on adventures with his two friends, and must eventually defeat a very evil wizard who must not be named, J. K. Rowling absolutely has the right to be peeved about this.  But if someone writes a book about, let’s say, a witch who is a florist, no one can sue this person saying that they are copying the Harry Potter series simply because the book stars someone with magical powers.

With that said, do we all have to rush out and buy a Nintendo Switch before it is inevitably banned from store shelves?  I highly doubt it.  I really don’t believe Gamevice is going to win in this case.  If anything, they’re going to cause Nintendo some aggravation and waste some of their time.  But that’s about it.  Nevertheless, I wish Nintendo luck in their endeavors because I don’t believe they are doing anything wrong.  May the Nintendo Switch have a long and successful life.

What do you guys think?  Do you think Gamevice is justified, or are you on Nintendo’s side?  Please let me know in the comments, dear readers!

The Duck Isn’t Going to Sue Other Ducks for Quacking the Same as Me, Either

Featured image by Owen1962 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    I wouldn’t worry about this too much. This exact same thing happened when the Wii first launched back in 2006. Nintendo released a new console with a new type of controller and somebody came out of the woodwork to sue them for patent infringement. The case was eventually dismissed. That’s what will happen here since this lawsuit is just as spurious. It’ll either get thrown out or settled out of court.

    Gamevice is just doing this to bring attention to themselves. It’s advertising of a sort. Even if they don’t get any money, they still get something out of this. After all, did you know Gamevice existed before this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Yeah, I’m sure Gamevice isn’t going to get anywhere with this lawsuit. You do make a good point, though. I definitely never heard of Gamevice before this, so this whole lawsuit is indeed getting them some new publicity. It’s likely not good publicity where any Nintendo fan is concerned, though. I wouldn’t buy their products now after they caused trouble for one of my favorite game developers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hatm0nster says:

        Sure, Nintendo fans might not like them after this, but there are plenty of mobile gamers out there that don’t really care about Nintendo. Chances are that some of them will take a closer look at Gamevice after this. It’s stupid that it works like this, but it does work.

        Like

  2. Particlebit says:

    With my limited knowledge of the actual complaint filed by Gamevice, my inclination is that they are doing it simply to extract a settlement out of Nintendo, who would rather avoid paying what are probably top lawyer fees to see this off. Also, its typical in these type of complaints to preserve all potential causes of action, hence Gamevice asking for what appear to be ludicrous requests like big damages or ceasing to sell the Switch. More to bargain with. Maybe Nintendo can get this labeled as frivolous and recover attorney fees. Not likely though.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      I don’t know too much about how lawsuits work, so while I don’t see Gamevice as actually winning, I’m sure they’re going to cause no shortage of trouble for Nintendo in the process. It’s a shame companies can use such schemes to get extra money, but I’m sure this is something Nintendo is probably used to by now.

      Liked by 1 person

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