Gamevice has filed a lawsuit against Nintendo claiming the design of the Nintendo Switch controllers are too similar to its own products and infringes on patents the company holds.
Gamevice, the company behind the, well… Gamevice, is the owner of a patent it filed back in 2015 titled “Combination computing device and game controller with flexible bridge section”. This patent basically consists of a computing device linked with a pair of controllers connected to either side, and it’s this which Gamevice are trying to get Nintendo to halt production of the Switch and be awarded damages.
The Gamevice is a controller peripheral for mobile devices which simply slots either side of either an iPhone or an iPad. These controls are connected together with a rubbery and flexible strap which keeps everything nice and tight. The Nintendo Switch on the other hand has two controllers which slot in either side of a tablet-like screen which can be detached and used as standalone controls. There is currently no “flexible bridge” connecting the two, as Mashable points out.
This is where things get tricky. It seems unlikely that the court will allow the lawsuit to proceed purely on this point alone. Also the fact that the Gamevice controller and the Nintendo Switch controllers are technically two different things, one can be used standalone, the other requires to be attached to an external device in order to be functional.