It seems that those cheeky boys and girls over at Microsoft have gotten them in a spot of bother as Ohio-based company Impulse Technology are claiming to have created the technology behind Kinect first, and that Kinect violates seven of their patents for the technology, such as:
“wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions…and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by the use of a camera.”
The exact patents are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,308,565; 6,430,997; 6,765,726; 6,876,496; 7,359,121; and 7,791,808 describing a “System and method for tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space,” and U.S. Patent No. 6,749,432 covering an “Education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function.”
As you may expect this means they expect the US courts to take action. Impulse Technologies are seeking permanent injunction, damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs – making this a potentially devastating blow to Microsoft and co.
Not content to simply bring Microsoft to court, Impulse Technologies have also named eight other companies in the lawsuit, including EA, Sega and Konami. How, you ask? they have named as defendants in the case, and Impulse Technologies are claiming that these companies are also responsible for making games for Kinect that violate their patents.
Should this lawsuit be successful the repercussions would be massive, such as losing the right to sell Kinect.
However, it will most likely be some considerable time before we hear anything regarding a decision by the court.