Nintendo loses 3DS patent lawsuit
Federal jury awards former Sony veteran $30.2 million in damages; Nintendo says verdict will not impact 3DS sales.
Nintendo has been found guilty in a patent infringement lawsuit relating to the 3DS. As reported by Reuters, a federal jury Wednesday awarded former longtime Sony inventor Seijiro Tomita $30.2 million in compensatory damages. The patent in question relates to technology Tomita created for developing 3D images without the need for 3DS glasses.
During courtoom proceedings last month, Tomita's legal representation--Joe Diamant--told jurors that his client 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.
Nintendo attorney Scott Lindvall argued that the suit was 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. He claimed last month that he was entitled to $9.80 for every 3DS sold, meaning the $30.2 million in compensatory damages are just a fraction of what he could be been awarded. As of December 31, Nintendo has sold 29.84 million 3DS units, meaning Tomita believed he was owed $292,432,000 from the Mario maker.
Nintendo responded to the decision in a statement sent to Kotaku. It affirms the compensatory damage figure, but claims Tomita's patent "did not relate to the 3D games playable on the 3DS."
"A jury awarded $30.2 million in damages to Tomita Technologies in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Tomita against Nintendo," a line from the statement reads. "The Tomita patent did not relate to the 3D games playable on the Nintendo 3DS. The trial was held in U.S. District Court in New York before Judge Jed Rakoff."
"Nintendo is confident that the result will be set aside. The jury's verdict will not impact Nintendo's continued sales in the United States of its highly acclaimed line of video game hardware, software and accessories, including the Nintendo 3DS," it goes on. "Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others."
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