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Small Firm's Weemote Came First, But Steamrolled by Nintendo's Wiimote

Everyone who follows the video game scene knows that the Wiimote is the unofficial nickname for Nintendo's motion-sensitive Wii controller.

But have you ever heard of the Weemote?

As reported by Time, the Weemote (left) is a small TV remote control, specially designed for children by Fobis Technologies of Miami. The Weemote was trademarked in 2000, roughly six years before the launch of the Wii.

From the Time article:

"Nintendo doesn't actually use the term Wiimote in its marketing, but then, it doesn't have to. The Internet takes care of that. Online retailers, from Amazon.com to used-video-game vendors operating out of their houses, advertise the "Wiimote" on their sites, openly or via more obscure means like customer product tags and posted comments.

As a result, says Fobis president John Stephen, since the Wii was released in 2006, the Weemote trademark has been so "diluted" that the Weemote's sales, which are mostly online and total fewer than half a million to date, have fallen considerably. In fact, many Wiimote fans believe it's the Weemote that's guilty of the trademark infringement. "These days," says Stephen, "the little guy like us is wondering, What's the point of trademark protection?"

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forum_crawler3797d ago

Not only is this not news, but I do not understand why people are even bringing this up. The wiimote, as we know it is not even called that. Nintendo has never referred to it as wii-mote. Instead, they call it the wii controller.

There is no copyright being violated here. It is too bad for them, but Nintendo cannot be faulted here. Gamers call it the wiimote, not Nintendo.