Nintendo victorious in patent infringement case surrounding Mii avatars

Nintendo Mii avatars. (Nintendo Photo)

A federal appeals court sided with Nintendo in a patent infringement lawsuit surrounding its Mii character creation and communication tool.

RecogniCorp filed suit against Nintendo in 2011, claiming that the Mii tool infringed on a patent it had for producing and storing police sketches using composite images of faces. RecogniCorp claimed that the Mii tool, which lets people create virtual avatars of themselves using their own photos for the 3DS and Wii U, uses similar techniques as its police sketch tools.

In the federal appeals case, the court found that RecogniCorp had not shown an “inventive concept that transforms the claimed subject matter from an abstract idea into a patent-eligible application,” according to court documents. That means RecogniCorp’s patent should never have been granted, so there would have been nothing for Nintendo to infringe upon.

“The decision marks another case in which Nintendo’s unique ideas overcame unjustified threats of patent infringement, Ajay Singh, Nintendo of America’s director of litigation and compliance, said in a statement. “Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products and we will continue to vigorously defend all our products from meritless patent lawsuits.”