(This is an archived case summary.)
Nintendo produces the GameBoy as well as a number of accessories including the GameLink, GameCamera and the GameBoy Printer. Battery Technology Inc. ('BTI”) developed and produced a device that recharges batteries for hand held gaming devices. BTI called its device the “GameBuddy”. After having its patent approved, BTI entered into production and distribution of the GameBuddy. Despite having notice of the patent application and grant, Nintendo waited until BTI was in production before bringing an action for passing-off and patent infringement.
BTI voluntarily halted the production and distribution and attempted to defend its actions by alleging that there was no infringement of the GameBoy line of patents, nor any passing-off. It also alleged that even if there was, Nintendo had acquiesced to the detriment of BTI and should therefore pay damages to BTI.
In a motion to strike portions of BTI's pleadings, the court explored BTI's equitable defence and held that BTI was in fact using equity as a “sword, not a shield”. The pleadings referring to these equitable defences were struck.
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Battery Technologies, Inc.
2001, Fed. Ct. of Canada, Trial Division
2001 FCJ No. 914
Keywords: patent infringement – passing off – GameBuddy – equitable defences
Summary by: Adam Nott