(Photo from Engadget – more here)
Here’s a story that should convince you of the need to protect your intellectual property rights. It seems the Wiimote, the controller for the Nintendo Wii, was designed by a guy who is currently struggling to make ends meet, according to this Engadget story:
According to Goschy, he really has no plans — or venue — to sue Nintendo, since Midway owned all of his patents, and as far as he can tell, Nintendo bought the patents from Midway, since Nintendo references one of the patents in its application for the Wiimote.
Apparently he just wants the recognition: ‘I just wanted to people to know. Wanted the truth to come out. Did this 8 years ago, and the Wii has been such a huge deal, I wanted the truth to get out there. It wasn’t these two or three Japanese guys that came up with this thing.’ His guess is that Nintendo saw the video demo he did — which was seen by hundreds of employees of Midway — and probably payed a pittance for the technology, thanks to Midway’s mismanagement.
Right now Goschy is doing engineering consulting work to pay the bills, and when asked if he could take a few shots of his controller alongside Nintendo’s, told us that he ‘can’t afford a Wii.’ He’s going to do a redo of the original video — hopefully with pants this time — if he can scrounge himself up a working Dreamcast.
Level 2 students reading “Doing Cultural Studies” may see some parallels with the story of how Sony came to develop the transistor radio using technology that was effectively given away.
Level 3 students will be having a talk on intellectual property protection this semester.