Ex-Midway Amusement Games employee Patrick Goschy, is claiming his patent on a video game accelerometer covers Nintendo’s infamous Wii controllers. The patent actually lists Midway, not Mr. Goschy, as the owner of the patent. I wonder if he addressed this apparent minor glitch before going public.
Claim 1 of the patent reads as follows:
A video game system comprising:
a game controller;
a hand-held control unit coupled to the game controller and housing an accelerometer and a light sensor,
the accelerometer sensing tilt of the control unit with respect to an axis, the accelerometer producing an acceleration signal indicating the tilt of the control unit with respect to the axis, the game controller processing the acceleration signal to control the movement of a game character on a video display coupled to the game controller and further processing the acceleration signal to control directional navigation of the game character through a game environment, said navigation corresponding to the tilt of the hand-held control unit,
the light sensor detecting one or more light pixels from the video display corresponding to a direction in which the hand-held control unit is pointing, the light sensor producing a detection signal to the game controller, the game controller determining from the detection signal the light pixels from the video display detected by the light sensor.
Here is a YouTube video of Mr. Goschy demonstrating an early prototype of the invention. Were I a person of lesser decorum I might be inclined to posit how, sitting there in his skivvies, he was ever able to come up with the idea for such a controller. The world may never know.
UPDATE According to engadget, Ms. Sheri Goschy, Patrick’s wife, has clarified that her husband is not suing Nintendo “yet.” You can view the newscast here where Goschy explains that while he was working at Midway, the company approached him about filing a third patent on his technology. Although an employee of Midway at the time, Mr. Goschy hired an attorney to demand a percentage of the profits received from his inventions. According to the news report, not only did Mr. Goschy not receive a percentage of the profits, Goschy signed a restrictive separation agreement giving up all rights to the invention, Midway refused to even file the patent and Mr. Goschy was subsequently laid off from Midway. Now there is some “hardball” negotiation.