The Nintendo Switch has once again come under legal fire from tablet manufacturer Gamevice. Back in August 2017, they sued Nintendo due to their controller design. Gamevice had a patent filed that included a tablet with detachable controllers and it took Nintendo to court over infringing this. The court records show that Gamevice voluntarily dropped its lawsuit in October 2017. However, this doesn’t seem to have resolved the dispute between the two companies.

Nintendo Switch investigation

The USITC (United States International Trade Commission) announced that is planning to investigate Nintendo and the Switch regarding the detachable controllers.

The USITC stated that this investigation is the result of Gamevice’s complaint, and added that Gamevice asked for “cease and desist order” and “a limited exclusion order” for the Nintendo Switch console.

While the USITC hasn’t made a decision yet, they aim to within 45 days. If Nintendo comes off poorly in this decision, then it might mean that they would need to stop selling their console in the US.

If the USITC finds that Nintendo has infringed on Gamevice’s patent, then they will also need to pay them royalties. This could mean that Nintendo is forced to pay Gamevice part of the revenue they get from selling the Nintendo Switch. This would allow them to keep selling the Switch in the US. Give the fact that Nintendo has forecast to sell 20 million units this year, Gamevice stand to make a lot of money if the USITC side with them.

Nintendo Switch's success

The Nintendo Switch has been immensely popular. It has had several hugely successful game releases to back up its hardware sales. It became their best selling console in years having already sold 18 million units. In terms of games, “Super Mario Odyssey”, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” have collectively sold almost 30 million copies.

The console has several high profile new releases on the horizon, too.

Nintendo has not yet commented on the announcement made by the USITC. However, they have dealt with similar Patent Infringement claims in the past. This includes them using the name Donkey Kong, multiple screens in the DS, 3D camera technology in the 3DS, and a dispute with the company Philips over the Wii U.

Whatever the outcome is, Nintendo will likely do their best to keep the Nintendo Switch selling in the US.

We will need to wait and see what the USITC decision is and what Nintendo’s response is on the matter. However, this could end as a mighty blow to the Japanese company.