Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer Pressured

Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer Pressured

July 24, 2008

Yesterday, GamePolitics reported on a small Florida manufacturer's claim that Wiimote, the common, yet unofficial nickname for Nintendo's motion-sensitive Wii controller, was negatively impacting sales of its Weemote, a small TV remote control designed to fit children's hands.

Fobis Technologies president John Stephen told Time:

These days, the little guy like us is wondering, What's the point of trademark protection?

We asked Nintendo for comment and received this from NOA spokesman Charlie Scibetta:

Because Nintendo does not use and does not plan to use the Weemote trademark, we declined Fobis' offer to purchase it.  We wish them success with their Weemote.
 

Stephen told GamePolitics that lawyers for his firm had contacted 100 retailers, large and small, requesting that they cease using the term Wiimote in their marketing. Indeed, GP correspondent Andrew Eisen, a major fan of the Wii, pointed out a post by importer NCSX:

Last week, we received a letter from a law firm representing a company which holds the "Weemote" trademark. The letter stated that we were to stop using the term, "Wiimote" in our product descriptions and NCS Game Notes because our actions could possibly cause confusion in the marketplace. NCS respects trademarks and ©opyrights since we also own trademarks and copyrighted material so we're obliging even though we think it's a bit of a stretch... but whatever.

From this day forth, the word "Wiimote" has been banished from N
©S' shopping sites and replaced with the word "Wii Remote." We wasted spent about an hour on Friday making sure the term "Wiimote" was waxed from the NCS shopping experience.

 

Comments

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

I love the sarcastic attitude of NCS. The flippant use of the copyright symbol and the striken out "wasted" Gotta love maturity.

Glad to see Nintendo taking a step in a positive direction and asking retailers to stop using the term.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

But it wsn't Nintendo that asked, it was the Weemote company.

Nintendo never used the term Wiimote. Granted, if anough of the community started using it, of course they will look into using the tag, not the trademark, to refer misdirected people into looking for them.

Since they do not use the term Wiimote (even though I do) I don't see why they would have to pay a company that has a similarly sounding product. It's like ReplayTV asking for money from Nintendo for the game Wii Play.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Sorry, mixing up law firms there. Still Nintendo should at least send out a press release or something.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Why should they?  It's not their responsibility to enforce the trademark owned Fobis Technoligies.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

No, but if I were Nintendo, I'd definitely want people using the right name for my product.  If I were running a store, and advertising it as the "Nintendo Shitmote", they'd be all over me to change it, but if I were calling it the "Wiimote", in full knowledge that it's a probable trademark violation, it's OK?  There's something seriously wrong here.

Despite their sarcasm, I'm glad at least one company recognizes that Fobis has a valid point.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Retailers calling it the Wiimote does not hurt the brand name, whereas "Shitmote" most certainly would. That's a terrible comparison.

Also, I get that the whole problem here is that people see the Weemote and think "aw, that's just a cheap knockoff," but is the target demographic even the same? The Wii is a videogame system, while the Weemote is a tv remote designed for parents to restrict their children's tv viewing. If a parent is looking for something like that, are they really going to choose not to buy this particular device just because the name sounds derivative of something popular?

Personally I think the makers of the Weemote should make their sales figures public so that we can judge for ourselves just how much their business has suffered since the launch of the Wii and the Wii remote. Otherwise they just look like they are trying to get free money from a large corporation, and will receive no sympathy from the average Joe like myself.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Simply put, PR.


@E. Zachary Knight is spot on.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

I do say that "wasted" hour could have used a bit more sarcasm, an hour isn't too bad if all they just did an auto find and replace...

And again with the "we are the little guy trying to defend our trade mark, but we are going after the other little guys like NCS and not the big ones"(i.e. just about every major retailer) BS just like the darn patent trolls.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Fuck that. We can use the term Wiimote whenever the hell we want. Nobody cares about the Weemote.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Sure, you can and I can (and I plan to keep doing so).  But if we're a retailer, we'd be in violation of trademark to do so.  That's how it works.  It's like how I can call any gelatin "Jell-O" if I want, but if I sold generic gelatin in my store and advertised it as "Jell-O", whoever owns that trademark would have a case against me for using their trademark inappropriately.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Wiimote, Wiimote, Wiimote, Wiimote, Wiimote!

What, are you gonna fine me everytime I say Wiimote? Get over yourselves and change your product name, don't threaten people to change someone else's product name because you think it might adversely affect your sales.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

@EZK:

I love NCSX, and when I imported more, they were a mainstay of mine (this year, only one purchase so far), but I have to agree, their attitude was really immature.

To those saying the Weemote folks should get over themselves, I agree that no one cares about their product (frankly, I think it's a stupid product), but Nintendo HAS made it a crapton harder for them to sell.  Nintendo isn't in the wrong here; they're not infringing, and the situation is coincidental, but the Weemote folks do have some right trying to get "Wiimote" disused commercially.  Totally not Nintendo's fault, though.

@MaskedPixelante:

They don't "think it might adversely affect their sales."  They stated (in a quote in the original article) that their sales have dropped.  How much of that it's the Wii's fault, is of course, entirely debatable.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

@ AM: "They don't "think it might adversely affect their sales."  They stated (in a quote in the original article) that their sales have dropped.  How much of that it's the Wii's fault, is of course, entirely debatable."

Actually, because there's no way to prove that the rise of the term "Wiimote" is the reason for the dropoff in sales (as opposed to, say, no one giving a damn about their product), then it absolutely is a case of them "thinking it might adversely affect their sales".  They have no proof that the term has or will affect them, so it's all speculation on their part.

This is an argument we here should all be very familiar with: correlation vs. causation.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

HAHAHAHAHA ... deep breath ... HAHAHAHAHAHA

I love that wasted I mean spent fixing the problem.  Stephen is a douche and his product sucks, he has no legal grounds and the fact that companies are willing to bow down and fix it just makes his epeen bigger they should tell him to piss off.  His product and the WIIMOTE are not the same and market confusion isn't going to occur because frankly your product has no market hell the only thing it may due is give you hits that you hadnt gotten before you big baby.

(I think someone needs to call his mommy and tell them all about how the bad mean internet doesn't care about his little itty bitty tiny epeen)

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Man... you sure showed him.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

yeah that was my point to show him you got me, it had nothing to do with me making fun of the situation and sharing my opinion.

I was gotten caught in the act of showing him.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Weemote: a good idea until you realize that you have over 400 channels with direct tv.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

It's nice to see that gamers are the only group that are willing to always bend over fo multi-billion dollar corporations (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) over the little guy.

If this were any other large company (replace Nintendo with, say...Ford), then I have a feeling that the reaction would be the opposite; but since Nintendo makes games, then suddenly anyone who has a beef with them automatically is a "whiner," regardless of facts.

Dumb....

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

I'm with you there.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

No what is dumb is he is whining about his product being over shadowed ... That would be implying that his product was a big deal at one point and Wiimote is some how jumping on his bandwagon ... here let me give you an example before I get another you showed him comment ...

In the 90s Creative labs made a product called X-Gamer.  They found out that a small company dared to have the same name as their product and they sued for copyright infrigment (this was a case of the name being exact X-Gamer = X-Gamer not Weemote = Wiimote).  The company laughed showed that one they had copyrighted the name X-Gamer years before Creative Labs had even came up with the concept and two the reason they hadn't sued Creative Labs is it brought them business as people thought X-Gamer = X-Gamer.  So what is stupid in this situation is that his product is mostly unknown; the worst that Wiimote may do is cause people to get hits on his product due to name similarity (is it occuring the other way yes but frankly the Wii is better known than the Weemote). 

Also I would like to comment why should Nintendo bend over backwards for this guy when they are not even infrigining on his idea ... it is not their fault that the internet and retailers are calling the Wii Remote the Wiimote ... they didn't tell them to do this and they are not responsible for those individuals.  I am all for giving it to the corporations but don't expect me to bandwagon on just because they are a corporation.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Has television really gotten so bad that we need "fun" remotes to get us back on the couch?  I'm serious, I haven't watched anything but the Tour de France and the Daily Show in the past month.  But I think I heard somewhere that "Friends" ended?

---
The Mammon Industry

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

I'd also like to add that even if this company managed to get every single retailer in the world to stop using the term Wiimote, it would do nothing to stop individual consumers from saying it. After all, it was the consumers who coined the term in the first place, and thus the Wii Remote is pretty much universally known as the Wiimote among gamers. This is a battle that can not be won. The term Wiimote is not going to go away any time soon, even after we have moved on to a new generation of systems. 20 years down the road when some gaming website does a retrospective of Nintendo systems, you can bet they are still going to call it the Wiimote because that's what gamers know it as. 40 years from now, when we're telling our grandkids about the games we used to play, we will be telling them all about the Wiimote, not the Wii Remote.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

 That's all right. Our grandkids won't be interested in our stories about the Wii anyway, they'll be too busy playing on the Holodeck.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

So Weemote got exactly what they wanted.  If this threat of legal action continues it is only proof they didn't want compliance, they wanted a large slice of cash from a frivilous lawsuit.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

O.K. people listen up the Fobis company can't do shit legally due in large part to the fact the an onumanapia or two word that sound the same dose not fall under a copyright as such NCS was never in the wrong but Fobis was as there copyright was for the Weemote not the Wiimote or even Wii mote so they need to shut up and stop bitching i'm sick and tired of hearing about the "little guy" they have verey little emplyees as opposed to Nintendo that Employees Millions of people world wide. as such there is only Fobis and there crappy advertisment budget. END OF STORY!!!!

 

 

"so you got stiffed, big deal I've been stiffed plenty do you see me go whine when some dose that to me no suck it up and get a new gimec." - A wise man

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

At last! Now the baby remote franchise can soar like it was always meant to! VICTOREEEEEEE!!!!!

 

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Soooo because his company is small he has no rights ? Who cares how many employees one has.

He has an obligation to protect his trademark. Change his name is not the answer. He was here first. If he ignores the issue, he runs the risk of nintendo waiting and then declaring his trademark invalide because he didn't protect it. So no matter what he does, you bastards think he's totally in the wrong and he still loses money. No the name is not the same, but the big companies go after other companies with simular but not exact names all the time. Bet if he registered wiimote tomarrow Nintendo would come down on him like a ton of bricks.. Even tho they don't own it....

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

You are right he has rights one of those rights is to protect his trademark and as such his trademark is the Weemote now if Nintendo or any company was using the term WEEmote he would be in his rights to complain and sue.  But they are using WII mote notice the Is notice they are not Es notice that just because you copyright trademark etc the word Weemote you dont own Wiimote Wyymote Wuumote Woomote etc.  He has the right to protect his trademark in this instance his trademark is not being infrigined upon and as such he has NO rights, the only reason anyone may comply with his cease and desist is not because he has any legal ground but because if he does take them to court they still have to waste money on being taken to court than they have to waste money on counter suing his ass into oblivion for frivilious lawsuits ... I would say the above company evaluated the situation and said screw it not worth the effort and money so just change it.

 

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Look i did not say change his name what i did say is that Nintendo was not infringing on his tradmark as they are not useing the same bloody word so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Wooo Someone else gets it.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Let's not forget that the term Wiimote also originated amongst the internet and the consumers and not from Nintendo themselves. It's pointless at best to try and do anything to Nintendo for something that never originated with them and idiotic at worst to assume that Nintendo is responsible (or should be held responsible) in any way shape, form, or size.

Nintendo owes nothing to this company and it is not Nintendo's responsibility to police its own consumers and their speech.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

I am surprised that no one has asked Wee if they know how to spell.

Wii and Wee are clearly two different spellings...

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Easy fix, rename it the PeeMote or Peewee-mote!

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Ya know... when I first read the story yesterday I thought this guy was going to say that his sales has jumped up.  If you think about how many parents and older people who dont game regularly see the "WeeMote" and think its for the Nintendo console.  They just got 1 sold under the fact that it was purchased by accident.  If anything I think his sales would jump up because of Nintendos popular device.  Who knows....

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

there is a trademark violation here if nin dose not step up then fobis can sue retailers damaging retailers relationship with NIN, nin needs to chose the lesser of evils and buy the trademark/brand name.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

Who's violating this trademark? Nintendo? Nope. They don't even call their remote the Wiimote. The retailers? You might be able to make a case for it but it's a bit of a stretch.

How is it straining relations with Nintendo for these retailers? Nintendo never told them to market the item as the Wiimote. That was a term coined by the consumers and internet community so the retailers decided to roll with it. That is not Nintendo's fault. Besides, calling it the Wii Remote is only a minor inconvenience. It's not like it'll take too much effort.

Really, you're making a stretch in logic here with an assumption that Nintendo is only hurting itself and retailers by not buying the name. They're under no obligation to buy the name or accept any responsibility for any "damages" that this term -- again, which they do not themselves use -- may have caused.

Seriously, what kind of logic are you guys using if you think Nintendo needs to do anything or accept any responsibility? This is a case of The-Little-Guy-Victim syndrome or something. If you ask me it sounds like an attempt at a cash-in because they've got a product that just won't sell. If they couldn't push out a large volume before Nintendo released the Wii then it's their own damn fault.

Re: Nintendo Comments on Weemote-Wiimote Flap; Online Retailer

How the hell do trademark the pronouncation of a controller, US patients system is screwed beyond the point of no return.

 

if i make a geliten based snack and called it Gel-O, i can get sued. tis screwed up US patent system.

 

 

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GamePolitics ShoutBox

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Matriculated: ...and now he wants to work for them pro bono. Make up your mind Jack
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maneater: yes my first shout
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sortableturnip: Jack now wants to defend foster children in court as punishment for his Bar Actions LOL!!
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sortableturnip: http://jaablog.jaablaw.com/2008/07/06/jack-needs-your-help.aspx?pg=9&view=threaded
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thefremen: @simonbob exactly i think the news has been too serious lately.
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Orange Soda: focusing on the fact that unconstitutional laws are being passed, rather than what the laws are about. Thoughts?
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thefremen: You should ask Barak if he'll ever come out of the closet about being a secret muslim.
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Posted 07/29/08 at 11:52am
Orange Soda: Barack Obama's going to hold a town hall meeting in my town tomorrow. I'll see about asking a question about VG legislation.
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