Should Nintendo do anything to help out the makers of the Weemote?


Does Nintendo owe Fobis Technologies, maker of the Weemote, anything? Did it infringe upon the tiny Florida-based company’s trademark? Donna wants to know.

Well, Time wants to know. The Weemote, which as we’ve mentioned here in the past, is a television remote control for kids that pre-dates the introduction of the Nintendo Wii by some six years. Now Fobis is complaining that the unofficial nickname for the Wii’s remote control has all but made its trademark worthless. The thing is, because Nintendo doesn’t actually use the word “Wiimote”—though everyone online does, as do retailers like—it’s not violating anything as far as the letter of the law is concerned.

The Weemote folks even went to Nintendo to see if they could work out some sort of agreement. Nintendo, in typical family-friendly fashion, refused.

As it stands, the Fobis folks have little to no recourse, other than to ask retailer to stop using “wiimote” tags in their product descriptions.

In light of this, I will stop using “wiimote” to refer to Nintendo’s Wii remote control, even though it will have absolutely no impact on Fobis’ fortunes, and will encourage my fellow CrunchGear brethren to do likewise.