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Is Nintendo Facing a Secret Legal Battle?


Nintendo's Senior VP and general counsel is planning to step down this spring. The only question is why.

Unlike Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), whose ongoing legal troubles may have prompted its chief patent counsel to leave, Nintendo (NTDOY) doesn't seem to have many legal battles going on right now.

But according to Corporate Secretary, Richard Flamm – the man responsible for eliminating counterfeit goods while protecting the Nintendo brand – is stepping down. Flamm, who served Nintendo for 19 years (including 12 years as its general counsel), did not provide a reason for his decision to leave the company.

It could be completely innocent. Maybe he needed a change of pace. After all, Flamm has worked with Nintendo since the days of the Super NES. He was there for the launch of the Nintendo 64, GameCube, Nintendo Wii, and most recently the Nintendo 3DS. While there are some lawyers who could happily spend 30 years defending Mario and Zelda in court, it might have been too much for Flamm.

It is also possible that he is looking to leave this area of the legal practice without actually retiring.

But at the same time I can't help but wonder if there is something going on behind the scenes. Considering the patent issues faced by other tech companies (and the few threatening Nintendo), one has to wonder if there is something else happening that we don't know about. Chances are I am just being paranoid.

That's what I hope, at least. I would hate to see one of the game industry's most innovative companies get sucked in by the legal drama that's currently plaguing other tech companies.

Follow me @LouisBedigian

Posted-In: Apple GameCube Nintendo Nintendo 3DS Nintendo WiiNews Legal Tech Best of Benzinga


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