Microsoft sued over seven patents relating to Kinect

Microsoft has received a lawsuit over their Kinect motion sensor from an Ohio-based company. Impulse Technology filed a lawsuit in Delaware on June 21st 2011, alleging that Microsoft has infringed on not one, but seven patents the company owns. These patents relate to motion-controlled gaming without a controller. The patent numbers can be viewed below:

Impulse say that they alerted Microsoft to the infringing actions with Kinect in their lawsuit. According to Patent Arcade, Impulse's wording as to what was being infringed upon is as follows:

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 use of a camera.

The lawsuit also claims that Microsoft willfully infringed on the patents in order to produce the Kinect systems. As well as Microsoft, other companies are listed as defendants in the lawsuit. These companies include Konami, Sega, and Electronic Arts, as well as five others. These companies have been responsible for producing games for the Kinect system that also infringe on the Impulse patents. The company wants permanent injunctions, damages, treble charges, interest, attorney fees, and costs.

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42 Comments

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Patent 6,308,565 sounds exactly like the scene involving the Xbox when the two leading stars of "The Island" were doing some virtual fighting.

Ah patent system law used by criminals for extortion. Who saw it coming? I can patent common sense and I am sure I won't be able to create a case in order to sue some parts of government for infringement.

Unless there patent trolls have actually made a product that resembles what they've written about, they should have their patent revoked. Some of these drafts and exotic ideas, and lets face it thats all they are at the time of their writing, are really starting to stop innovation. We're going to get to a point where no one can create anything because someone has sat down and written every possible combination of ideas ready for the next 10 years... well yeah, not quite that bad but you get the idea.

Its funny how these companies work, you would think someone would have spoken up while the kinect was in development, but no they wait 2 years after its out.

First a series of cyber-hacking by Anon,Lulzsec and now Patent-trolls suing corportations. It would be easy to describe the year 2011 to my kids in future.

Why the first six patent take me to a same patent?

Accurate simulation of sport to quantify and train performance constructs...

And it seems to me that Microsoft does infringe on their patents. Most probably, these patents will be dissolved because of their simplicity.

Has anyone tried to patent the organ system of humans? I mean you could make hell of a lot of money suing 7 billion people... Just a thought.

drazgoosh said,
Has anyone tried to patent the organ system of humans? I mean you could make hell of a lot of money suing 7 billion people... Just a thought.

Win.

I'm going to patent everything I see in science fiction movies so when it becomes an actual product in the future, I can sue whoever actually put in all the R&D costs.

That impulse clearly has no product or even one in the works that utilises that patent. I bet the only software impulse know how to make is plastic wares left out in the sun to long

If they use others technology they have to pay. Even Microsoft asks same thing (and it's right)... if you don't like it, ask to change laws about that.

fenderMarky said,
If they use others technology they have to pay. Even Microsoft asks same thing (and it's right)... if you don't like it, ask to change laws about that.

Microsoft did try to change the law and i4i still got a boat load of MS's money. As our law making body, its ultimately the Congress that needs to take action but considering how far behind they are on EVERYTHING.....I'm guessing re-writing patent law is a few years off.

NPGMBR said,

Microsoft did try to change the law and i4i still got a boat load of MS's money. As our law making body, its ultimately the Congress that needs to take action but considering how far behind they are on EVERYTHING.....I'm guessing re-writing patent law is a few years off.

Yes in the end MSFT will have to part with $100 million for the patent troll.

Wow, so I can go out, patent an idea that may one day be developed, "Molecule transport via electrical pulses", have no freaking clue how to make it, but if someone else does and makes this breakthrough, I can sue them up their ying yang and get an injunction to stop this miracle product?

These pricks need to be placed in front of a firing squad and SHOT, and the "pricks" include the morons who refuse to revamp the system!

ROT IN HELL $^@^@!!!!

I can say all the tech idea and patent it??? A kid can do it. I am pretty sure Impulse does not know how to make the actual Kinect

MS Lose32 said,
How do you like software patents now Neowin???

+1
When it's Microsoft doing the suing, they are just protecting their property according to some neowin commentators, but when it's another company suing Microsoft, the patent troll accusations descend like torrential rain. You can't have it both ways guys.

Personally, I think all software patents should be rescinded. They do nothing but impede fair competition and raise prices for consumers.

Microsoft_Bob said,

+1
When it's Microsoft doing the suing, they are just protecting their property according to some neowin commentators, but when it's another company suing Microsoft, the patent troll accusations descend like torrential rain. You can't have it both ways guys.

Personally, I think all software patents should be rescinded. They do nothing but impede fair competition and raise prices for consumers.


Fail.
Microsoft sues because the patents that they sue about (or pressure on) are related to products that they have actually released. This company has released 0, count, 0 products, and therefore is a patent troll for that reason.
Neowinians are still right, btw.

Patent trolls needs to be thrown into a volcano asap.

I may dislike Microsoft, but it's not even close to my resentment towards these blood sucking vermins that the trolls are - they're practically slowing technological progress and costing _us_, the consumers, constantly more and more.

really?? i dont know any Impulse device like kinect, how they can patent something if they dont have any device out? so i can patent whatever i want and wait for a company to make something i patented and then sue? stupid stupid.
i wish this Impulse guys would be just ignored.

EmilyTheStrange said,
really?? i dont know any Impulse device like kinect, how they can patent something if they dont have any device out? so i can patent whatever i want and wait for a company to make something i patented and then sue? stupid stupid.
i wish this Impulse guys would be just ignored.
MS sure has ranked up some bad karma.

Patent trolling at the best.... Should make rules for it. Like if you want to get a patent, must at least show blue prints of object, and yearly, must show work that proves you are trying to make such a product. If you are unable to, patient should be nullified.
Still hate how they can vaguely describe a procedure and stop progress in its tracks.

Lucas said,
Holt ****ing ****, jesus christ someone please do something, this is ****ing mentally retarded.

Win.
The American Patent System == utter bulls*** all the way. Why can't we get some competent legislators in this god damned country for once???!!!!

instead of bogus tort reform how about some real patent reform. Maybe if these guys actually wrote a program that did what they describe and then that code was used by microsoft then there would be a case.

Why do they even have that patent? I can't find any company called Impulse Technology that makes anything remotely related? Why are companies allowed to get patents for products/systems they aren't making and never will? Oh well, they have the patent and it does seem to apply, even though the patents seem to be very focused on sports and training but still...

wonder if they also tried to go after Nintendo inside the US?

Also... holy poop, wording on these stupid patents are so vague that you can corner a whole market temporarily but using legalese and putting in a few bogus patents you never intend to actually develop or care for.

Sometimes I really really really hate bureaucracy and the legal system.

Skin said,
wonder if they also tried to go after Nintendo inside the US?

Also... holy poop, wording on these stupid patents are so vague that you can corner a whole market temporarily but using legalese and putting in a few bogus patents you never intend to actually develop or care for.

Sometimes I really really really hate bureaucracy and the legal system.


Well according to the article it applies to motion controlled gaming without a controller so that would exclude the Wii (and Wii U) and the PS3 Move, I didn't see they part specifying this in the patents myself but I only took a short look at them and I am not a lawyer so I am not exactly fluent in the language it is written in either .

Skin said,
wonder if they also tried to go after Nintendo inside the US?

Also... holy poop, wording on these stupid patents are so vague that you can corner a whole market temporarily but using legalese and putting in a few bogus patents you never intend to actually develop or care for.

Sometimes I really really really hate bureaucracy and the legal system.

Wii has camera in the wii mote, uses infrarid sensor to track the 4 infrad leds on the sensor bar (combined with the gyro sensors in the wii mote to detect the motion (pitch, etc).

Kinnect using the camera to directly track objects from the video it's capturing.

Leonick said,

Well according to the article it applies to motion controlled gaming without a controller so that would exclude the Wii (and Wii U) and the PS3 Move, I didn't see they part specifying this in the patents myself but I only took a short look at them and I am not a lawyer so I am not exactly fluent in the language it is written in either .

Ya detecting motion without a controller for a game, like Nintendo sold in the 1980s? How clever of company to have patented a concept that was not only in existence, but was sold to consumers 12 years beforehand. I wonder if the name Nintendo U-Force rings a bell...

Leonick said,

Well according to the article it applies to motion controlled gaming without a controller so that would exclude the Wii (and Wii U) and the PS3 Move, I didn't see they part specifying this in the patents myself but I only took a short look at them and I am not a lawyer so I am not exactly fluent in the language it is written in either .

What about the PlayStation EyeToy then?