Nintendo sued over 3DS tech

Former Sony inventor alleges Mario maker infringed on 3D display patent, seeking $9.80 for every 3DS sold.

Nintendo has been sued over its glasses-free 3D technology used in the company's 3DS hardware line. Former longtime Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita alleges that Nintendo infringed on his patent for technology that allows users to view 3D images without glasses, according to a Reuters courtroom report.

Nintendo attorney Scott Lindvall says the suit is without merit, claiming the 3DS does not use key aspects of Tomita's patent. He further argued Tomita's 2003 meeting with Nintendo was merely one of many the Mario maker had with merchants selling 3D technology.

Tomita originally sued Nintendo in 2011. His legal representation--Joe Diamante--claims his client is entitled to $9.80 for every 3DS sold. As of December 31, Nintendo has sold 29.84 million 3DS units, meaning Tomita stands to earn $292,432,000 if successful in court.

Diamante told jurors at the hearing this week that Tomita showed a prototype of his technology to seven Nintendo officials at the 2003 meeting, four of which would go on to assist in the creation of the 3DS.

"He actually felt betrayed and hurt that they were using his technology," Diamante said.

However, Lindvall retorted, saying Nintendo is constantly meeting with potential vendors. In addition, he said that prior to Tomita's 2003 meeting, Nintendo had already held four discussions with vendors, including Sharp Corp., which would eventually secure the contract.

"Mr. Tomita's meeting was one of hundreds," Lindvall said.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

390 comments
rulo90
rulo90

screw it all i say get over it and welcome to the real world. 

davros878
davros878

No, sorry, but the 3DS uses a 3D trick that's been around since the 1800's and invented originally by a man named Charles Wheatstone. More nonsense purported by the flawed patent system.

jazero1987
jazero1987

he should made a patnet  on the idea 

JusXice
JusXice

"He actually felt betrayed and hurt that they were using his technology," Diamante said. LOL!!!! 

People steal ideas all the time welcome to the big world 

hadlee73
hadlee73

9.80 may not seem like much to some people, but to him its over 900 Yen! :P

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

easy money, why not try ebay?

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

Sorry guy, but the patent is in another castle


At Sharp

GSJones1994
GSJones1994

There is no end to stupidity, is there?

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

I'll be honest, the only games that wow in 3D are The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mighty Switch Force, and Gunman Clive.  I feel like the only games that should be in 3D is a Mega Man X game on the 3DS, Vertical Shooters, First Person Shooters, and Knuckles Choatix if it was released on 3DS.

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

If this was really true, then Sony would have used 3D technology in the Vita or made their PS DIsplay glasses free.

big_erk
big_erk

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Sharp hold a patent for the 3D displays they are producing for Nintendo to use in the 3DS?  If that is the case, this isn't going to go very far.

Jaxith
Jaxith

Based on what I'm seeing, there's not really any case for this guy.  Nintendo doesn't need his support for a glasses free 3d effect.  I doubt his basis for claiming he deserves compensation goes farther than, "There are no glasses!".

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

My favorite feature on the 3DS is the ability to turn 3D off.  Neither of the involved parties in this suit should be proud of the headache inducing, limited viewing range of glasses free 3D.  Furthermore, I'm suing everyone on this forum for existing.

mario1028
mario1028

It's not the same technology, but the patent system has got to be reformed, as this is yet another example of its abuse.

zequex
zequex

So if Sharp was the company to actually build the tech for the 3D, shouldn't he be suing Sharp? Unless Sharp actually patented it first.... in which case they could sue him.... 

I'm confused.

mr_azim
mr_azim

"was one of hundreds..... and we took technology from all o fthem!"

Way to give people ideas for a class action suit.

Dogswithguns
Dogswithguns

They need to make a law to stop this suing.. once and for all. enough is enough.

Mecamatt
Mecamatt

And Nintendo counter-sues the Playstation Move? And touchpad controller? And Playstation-Allstars? 

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

It aint the first time and it won't be the last time

corrus
corrus

HAHAHAHA hope Nintendo get what they deserves all Nintendo fanboys have to read this for their precious Nintendo that had invented everything and never copy the ideas of others

OldKye
OldKye

@davros878 This lol.  It's old tech that's been around for years thrown out for the most part because of the fact the user has to have his eyes in a specific spot to get the effect.

People don't like to wear glasses so they took it out of the closet and dusted it off lol.

darkeyez81
darkeyez81

@GSJones1994 "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

aryanbrar
aryanbrar

@VirtualTofu 

if you used your reading skill(don't know if you have it or not), it clearly says FORMER aka previous sony employee. that means sony has no relation in this matter of 3d glasses free case.

immanuel_aj
immanuel_aj

@CFritzRun Well, after using the 3DS for a week or so, the 3D effect stopped hurting.  Somehow, my brain just went "Oh, there's going to be a 3D effect coming out of this screen, remember to compensate."

But even so, I keep 3D off most of the time because of the angle problem.  If the 3DS tilts in the wrong direction, BAM the screen becomes a blur!  And I have to readjust it.  I only found 3D useful to me in the underwater sections of Monster Hunter where I couldn't gauge distances easily since everything's kinda floating and not bolted down to the floor.

FlareKnights
FlareKnights

@CFritzRun Yeah, honestly the 3D isn't even a feature I want to use. The whole fad has been annoying really. Having to actively avoid 3D movie showings as well. 

silvergol
silvergol


@CFritzRun They didn´t say the new 3ds, do not have more this terrible effect?!

megakick
megakick

@CHROMEFLAMIN Sony is failing harder... Sony makes more money selling their offices then video games...

Rotondi
Rotondi

@zequex ya but what about the company that supplied the parts to Sharp?  Shouldn't they be the ones responsible?  No wait...Can't we just trace all this back to...Dudes, I got it. This guy should totally be suing the Earth.

ahpuck
ahpuck

@Dogswithguns  The only thing that works is, loser pays. Meaning, if you sue someone and you lose, you pay all of the money whomever you sue had to spend to defend themselves.

shadowboy88
shadowboy88

@Mecamatt "FORMER longtime Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita alleges that Nintendo infringed on his patent for technology" emphasis on the word FORMER

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

@Mecamatt And gaming in general. Though I guess Atari might win that one. First time for everything.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@corrus You're just the coolest troll in the world, aren't you corrus? You are obviously a fanboy, yourself, although I'm not sure who you "owe" allegiance to, and you continue to make yourself look silly in all of these hate posts you continue to post about Nintendo news.


Stay off these comment sections. I'm sick of reading your nonsense.

mario113
mario113

@corrus Dude this happens all the time some inventor claims nintendo stole thier Idea, they go to court, and they don't win this will be another one of those times

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

@FlareKnights @CFritzRun Movies are especially annoying as they're generally just ran through a program to overlay a 3D effect on them.  Then they charge you almost double the ticket price just to ooh and aah for an hour and a half.  I've yet to look at a movie or a game and think, "Wow, 3D would make that so much better."

Rennik_Repotsir
Rennik_Repotsir

@mr_azim @Dogswithguns 

...and I'll sue you for suing.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Ah. Sony fanboy. I just looked at your profile.

Rotondi
Rotondi

@Rennik_Repotsir Not before I sue you because you're suing him for suing the other guy

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

@FLEEBS @Dr_Corndog Funny you should mention Joe Satriani, he did the same thing as this lawsuit with the Coldplay song Viva la Vida. He also got nowhere with the suit! lol

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@Dr_Corndog @FLEEBS I guess Dream Theater will have to get on both of our cases, then! =)

Fact is, DT is my favorite band. My avatar used to be Joe Satriani's Surfing With the Alien, but I didn't feel that reflected my interest as much anymore.

anzelm
anzelm

@mario113 @corrus Actually they can IF they patent that idea. I guess the patent need to be rather specific. If the actual tech used infringes on the tech described in the patent Ninendo will have to pay. If it doesn't they need not pay. 

mario113
mario113

@corrus @mario113 exactly, all because they had an idea they come up with a long time ago dosn't mean they can sue somebody, if they had no intention of using it in the first place