Nintendo Co. Ltd v Centronics Systems Pty Ltd

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Nintendo Co Ltd v Centronics Systems Pty Ltd [1994] HCA 27; (1994) 181 CLR 134; (1994) 121 ALR 577; (1994) 68 ALJR 537; (1994) AIPC 91-077; (1994) 28 IPR 431 (4 October 1994) was an intellectual property case heard at the High Court in 1994[1]. The defendant had imported video game circuits which were unauthorised copies of Nintendo's circuit layout which Nintendo manufactured and marketed in regard to its game products, infringing on its copyrights.[2]


207 words 26 July 1994 Reuters News LBA English (c) 1994 Reuters Limited MELBOURNE, July 26 (Reuter) - Nintendo Co Ltd said that an Australian court has prohibited a local firm and three men from selling counterfeit Nintendo video game products made in Taiwan. In one of the first rulings under a new law to protect intellectual property, the Federal Court blocked Centronics Systems Pty Ltd and the three men from selling the Japanese maker's products, Nintendo of Australia Pty Ltd said. In an appeal hearing, the court ruled that counterfeit integrated circuits sold by the defendants infringed Nintendo's copyright in large-scale integration chips contained in its 8-bit entertainment system hardware unit, Nintendo said. The court also ordered the defendants to pay Nintendo's costs of the appeal they launched against a 1991 lower court ruling in Nintendo's favour and of the original case, Nintendo said. It said the ruling would have significant implications not only in Australia but throughout the world. Counterfeit integrated circuits with the same product identifier have been used extensively in copies of Nintendo hardware, many brands of which originate in Taiwan. "It's clear that all of these brand systems which carry this chip or substantially similar chips are illegal," Nintendo said. (c) Reuters Limited 1994

  • Australian Company Beats Nintendo In Court Case Over Chip 12/08/92

303 words 8 December 1992 Newsbytes News Network Newsbytes News Network NBYT English COPYRIGHT 1992 by Newsbytes News Network MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 1992 DEC 8 (NB) -- A small Melbourne company has won a court case brought against it by Nintendo and its local distributor, Mattel. The case related to a chip contained in a game console distributed in Australia by Melbourne company Centronics, which Nintendo claimed infringed its copyright under the 1989 Circuit Layouts Act. After three years, the Full Federal Court in Australia has found in favor of Centronics' appeal against an earlier decision, saying the console (and hence the "offending" chip) was imported before the Act was enacted. However, the decision has come too late for Centronics, which has gone out of business due to the high legal costs of the case, estimated at around AUS$1M, and the inability to sell the Taiwanese-manufactured Spica Entertainment System. Nintendo claimed the system contained a chip designed by Nintendo and used in its own entertainment system, while Centronics claimed the chip was independently designed and manufactured by the United Manufacturing Company of Taiwan. Maurice Latin, one of four Centronics directors to sell their houses to pay for the legal costs, said he was "greatly relieved" at the decision. "It has been a tedious, highly technical battle and one which has produced unexpected results," he said. "It has been a great relief to know that ultimately we couldn't be pushed around by a corporate giant. We were portrayed as a little company exploiting Nintendo and its brand name," Latin went on to say. Despite concerns that the case's duration has made marketing the system non-viable, Latin plans to sell the units he imported three years ago through his new company, Mecatronics. (Sean McNamara/199211208/Press & public contact: Maurice Latin, phone in Australia: +61-3-328 3266)


  2. Clark, Eugene - "Nintendo Wins the Circuit Layout Game" (1994) JlLawInfoSci 21; (1994) 5(2) Journal of Law, Information and Science 330 Retrieved 2011-03-04