Nintendo kills a patent troll

It what appears to be the plot for a very bad Wii game, the game console maker Nintendo has killed a troll and stolen its cache of patents.

Nintendo announced it has obtained the patent portfolio of IA Labs, the “patent troll,” which sued Nintendo back in April 2010 for allegedly infringing upon two of its patents.

IA Labs claimed it had suffered “irreparable harm” due to Nintendo’s infringement, which involved the Wii and a variety of its peripherals, including the Wii Remote and Balance Board.

But things did not go well for IA Labs and a trial court sided with Nintendo in a February 2012 ruling and ordered IA Labs to pay some of Nintendo’s legal fees. IA Labs appealed the decision but an appeals court agreed with the first decision last June.

IA Labs was again told to pay more of Nintendo’s legal fees.

However, after all this court action, IA Labs was skint and a sheriff’s sale was held to pay off the money owed. Nintendo managed to obtain IA Labs’ assets, including its “entire patent portfolio.”

Many were wondering what IA Labs were doing trying to shake down Nintendo. It has a history of being particularly nasty to patent trolls.

Nintendo of America’s Richard Medway said that if Nintendo thinks it owes money it will pay up, it will not pay to make a troll go away.

It also includes holding those who sue Nintendo responsible for the costs and expenses incurred in patent litigation, he said.

To be fair, Nintendo has not had luck in all of its legal matters. In December, a court ordered Nintendo to pay a percentage of 3DS sales to the owner of a patent Nintendo was found to have violated with the system’s 3D cameras. But if it feels down it can always dance a little jig on the grave of IA Labs.