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Supreme Court denies cert in several cases

The Supreme Court won’t reinstate a $21 million judgment against Nintendo of America Inc., turning away a claim of patent infringement from a Texas gaming company. The high court refused to hear an appeal from Anascape Ltd. on Monday.

A federal jury decided that Nintendo infringed on Anascape’s existing patent of the technology used to make joysticks while designing its Wii Classic, WaveBird and Gamecube controllers. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the award. No infringement was found with the motion-sensing technology used in Nintendo’s wandlike Wii and Nunchuk controllers. Nintendo has said it no longer makes the WaveBird and Gamecube controller.

The case is Anascape v Nintendo, 10-301.

The court also refused to take up a constitutional challenge to provisions of the Patriot Act from a lawyer who was once wrongly suspected in deadly terrorist bombings in Spain.

The justices turned down an appeal from Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon lawyer who was arrested by federal agents after they mistakenly matched him to a fingerprint from the train bombings in Madrid in 2004.

It turned out the fingerprint didn’t belong to Mayfield, who got an apology and $2 million from the federal government. But a federal appeals court blocked Mayfield’s challenge to the Patriot Act, the post-9/11 law that was used to arrest him. The high court left the appeals court ruling in place.

The case is Mayfield v. U.S., 09-1561

In a third case, the court passed up election-eve chance to weigh in on campaign finance disclosure rules for groups that raise and spend money independently of candidates.

The justices rejected an appeal from the conservative group SpeechNow.org, which want wants to limit what it has to tell the Federal Election Commission about its activities.

The court’s action a day before the 2010 midterm elections leaves in place a decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which struck down limits on contributions to SpeechNow and similar independent groups but upheld disclosure requirements.

Outside groups have so far spent more than $264 million, more than four times as much as they did four years ago.

The case is Keating et al. v. Federal Election Commission, 10-145.

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